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Call for Evidence

Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Victims Bill

The Justice Committee is to undertake pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Victims Bill.

The draft Bill sets out how the Government plans implement its commitment to improve victims’ experience of the criminal justice system and put their rights in law. It seeks to build on the foundations provided by the Victims’ Code and follows on from the Delivering Justice for Victims consultation, that concluded in February.

The Justice Committee will examine the draft Bill to assess the adequacy of its policy objectives and key provisions.

The Committee invites written evidence on whether the Bill, as drafted, meets the Government’s aim of delivering a cultural shift in victims’ experiences by putting their interests at the heart of the justice system.

The Committee would also welcome evidence on the following points:

  • The Bill’s definition of victim.
  • The Government’s proposal to put the overarching principles of the Victims’ Code in primary legislation and set out key entitlements in secondary legislation, consulting on changes to the Code once the Bill is in force.
  • The key changes the Government should consider making to the Victims’ Code, including consideration of those already proposed by the Government in its response to the consultation.
  • The Government’s proposals to amend the role of the Victims’ Commissioner.
  • The Government proposals to place a duty on the relevant criminal justice agencies (the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, Youth Offending Teams and HM Prison and Probation Service) to collect data and keep under review their delivery of the Code.
  • The Government’s proposals on the role of the inspectorates, including an improved focus on victims, and a new power for the Government to direct aspects of their work.
  • Whether the legislative steps proposed by the Government will lead to an improvement in the commissioning of support services?
  • Whether the steps outlined by the Government will lead to increased awareness and effectiveness of the ISVAs and IDVAs?
  • What implementation, resourcing and accountability challenges exist with respect to the Victims Bill?
  • Whether there should be any further measures included in the Bill?
  • Are there any relevant international examples the Committee should consider?
  • Whether the provisions of the Bill could have any implications for due process?

The Committee would be grateful to receive submissions by 5pm on Friday 10 June.

Important information about making a submission

The Committee cannot publish submissions which refer to ongoing legal cases. Please contact us at if you are not sure what this means for you.

Written evidence must address the terms of reference as set out above, but please note that submissions do not have to address every point. Guidance on giving evidence to a select committee of the House of Commons is available here.

In line with the general practice of select committees, the Justice Committee is not able to take up individual cases. If you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local Member of Parliament.

The Committee will decide whether to accept each submission. If your submission is accepted by the Committee, it will usually be published online. It will then be available permanently for anyone to view. It can’t be changed or removed. If you have included your name or any personal information in your submission, that will normally be published too. Please consider how much personal information you want or need to share. If you include personal information about other people in your submission, the Committee may decide not to publish it. Your contact details will never be published.

Decisions about publishing evidence anonymously, or about accepting but not publishing evidence, are made by the Committee. If you would like to ask the Committee to accept your submission anonymously (meaning it will be published but without your name), or confidentially (meaning it won't be published at all), you can make this request when you upload your submission.

The Committee has discretion over which submissions it accepts as evidence, and which of those it then publishes on its website. We may anonymise or redact some of your submission if it is published. The Committee may decide to accept evidence on a confidential basis. Confidential submissions remain available to the Committee but are not published or referred to in public. All written evidence will be considered by the Committee, whether or not it is published.

If your evidence raises any safeguarding concerns about you, or other people, then the Committee has a duty to raise these with the appropriate safeguarding authority.

The Committee would be grateful to receive submissions by 5pm on Friday 10 June.

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Victims Bill Inquiry