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Justice Committee seeks out those directly affected by crime

The Justice Committee is calling for people who have been directly affected by crime to come forward to give their views on proposals put forward by the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill published today.

The bill, which implements an EU directive on the rights and protection of victims of crime, aims to protect victims and witnesses so they are able to attend court.

Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said: “It is vital this Bill improves the rights and support for victims and witnesses as they pass through the criminal justice system.

“We are interested in hearing from those who have been directly affected by crime. Should offenders contribute to the cost of supporting victims? Should vulnerable witnesses have an automatic right to give their evidence behind a screen or by CCTV? And more generally, does the Bill do enough to balance the rights of victims with those of offenders?”

The Health and Sport Committee is working with the Justice Committee on the bill and will look at proposals to found a National Confidential Forum (NCF). The NCF aims to provide a confidential and supportive setting for adults placed in institutional care as children to talk about their experiences.

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