Victims of serious violent offences are permitted to provide a Victim Impact Statement for a Sentencing Judge prior to the sentencing of an offender.
The Victim Impact Statement can include information on physical or emotional harm, loss of or damage to property, and any other effects the victim has experienced because of the offence.
Victims are permitted to read, or have someone else read, the Victim Impact Statement in Court.
The Judge can effectively censor or edit the Victim Impact Statement by directing that some content in it is not read out in Court.
Changes SST would like to see:
- The title of ‘Victim Impact Statements’ is changed to ‘Victim Statements’ to reflect the right of the victims to say what they want.
- Victim statements would not be edited or censored. The only limitation placed on the victims when providing Victim Statements would be the language used and the time it takes to read it.