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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the various philosophical underpinnings of victim involvement in the criminal justice processes of common law jurisdictions. It first examines the role of the victim in criminal justice processes, focusing on an individualized and private conception of the victim instead of the public interest and public harm as defined by these actors rather than themselves, as well as conceiving the victim as part of the public interest. It then discusses various types of victim participation in criminal justice processes before proceeding with an analysis of the relationship between victims and the actors of criminal justice processes, namely, law enforcement (police and prosecutors) and defendants. The article also proposes a theoretical framework that enables a pluralistic view of victim participation and concludes by highlighting how the foundation and conception of victim involvement can affect the relationship among victims, prosecutors, and the defendant.

Keywords: victims, criminal justice, public interest, public harm, law enforcement, defendants, prosecutors, police, common law jurisdictions

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