Participate in the European Commission’s open consultation to revise the Victim’s Rights Directive until midnight today.
All victims of crime across the European Union (EU) deserve support and there is an initiative to revise the Victim’s Rights Directive in order to strengthen victim’s rights across the EU so that they receive support, access information, seek justice and obtain compensation. The proposed update of the existing Directive addresses the evolving needs of our society, developments in technology and in justice.
The reform includes various things like ensuring that victims are well informed of their rights, have access to a universal Victim’s helpline (with an EU-wide telephone number and also online chat functions and an e-mail address). There is a special focus on vulnerable victims with specific needs (such as children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, victims of hate crime etc.) and their access to specialized support services. It is also proposed that victims should be guaranteed compensation which should be paid to them by the State and then the State would seek reimbursement from the offender.
As seen, there are quite a few changes proposed in this initiative. However, there is a lack of ambition to strengthen the restorative justice processes across the EU. In October, 2021, the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) took several steps to support the evaluation process of the Victim’s Rights Directive and submitted a position paper to the European Commission. Then, in June, 2022, the EFRJ submitted its recommendations to the European Commission, in particular the right to access to restorative justice and restorative justice as a generally available service in addition to further recommendations such as to consider a comprehensive EU binding act on restorative justice and to include restorative justice in other relevant EU policies and legislation on victim’s rights.
Overall, the EFRJ continues to call on the EU to take this unique opportunity to increase the access to well organised, high quality restorative justice services for all victims of crime and at any stage of the criminal proceedings.
The deadline to submit any feedback and recommendations is midnight tonight. The feedback received then will feed the legislative debate within the European Parliament and the Council.