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Increasing the rights of victims and witnesses in court

Submitted on Thursday 4th August 2011

Published on Friday 5th August 2011

Current status: Closed

Closed: Sunday 5th August 2012

Signatures: 25

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Increasing the rights of victims and witnesses in court

Additional Information

The Government should extend the rights of victims and witnesses in court to redress the imbalance that is currently substantially biased towards the offender. In particular, victims and witnesses should be given the right to appeal against 'findings of fact' against them or 'errors of law', not have to rely upon prosecutors.

There should be a clear legal presumption that a victim or witness is telling the truth. The offender/defendant must be required to adduce positive evidence of falsity before they can make allegations that the victim or witness is lying. They should not be permitted to just "throw mud" in the hope that some of it sticks.

Victims or witnesses should be given the power to take judicial review proceedings against the courts for manifest failures in procedure or practice, including abuse of the victim or witnesses human rights. (Currently no-one can take a judicial review against a Crown Court for matters relating to the trial of offenders).

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