David Stewart MSP

North MSP to meet with Victims’ Champion for England and Wales

31 March 2009

David Stewart, Highlands and Islands Labour regional MSP is to meet tomorrow with Sara Payne, the recently appointed Victims’ Champion for England and Wales.

Her role is to prepare the way for the appointment of a ‘Victims and Witnesses Commissioner’ for England and Wales.

Mr Stewart commented, “I am on the verge of launching a members’ bill in the Scottish Parliament hopefully leading to the appointment of a Victims’ Commissioner, who will be a champion, a focal point and a voice for victims across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“It is important to learn from the work that Sarah Payne has already carried out and also the Victims’ Commissioner in Northern Ireland.

“The main tasks to be carried out by Scottish Victims’ Commissioner could include promoting awareness and understanding on the rights of victims and actively engaging with victims and those working on their behalf.

“The Commissioner would also keep under review current policy and practice relating to victims and make recommendations on best practice and publish and instigate research on issues associated with victims.

“He/she would also conduct investigations on broad issues involving victims as a group, with the power to call witnesses.

“An example could be the treatment of rape victims by the justice system.”

Mr Stewart added, “The criminal justice system needs to keep the needs of victims of crime centre stage and ensure that the necessary support is in place for those who have often undergone what is frequently a traumatic experience.”

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Written by davidstewart

April 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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