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Victims Bill examined by Justice Committee in session with commissioners

9 June 2022

MPs will question the Victims’ Commissioner, Children’s Commissioner and Domestic Abuse Commissioner on whether the draft Victims Bill will achieve ministers’ aims of bolstering victims’ rights.

The Justice Committee’s evidence session on 14 June will be the first of its new inquiry on pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill following a request from the Government.  

The Bill seeks to put the Victims’ Code into law. In a recent consultation, the Ministry of Justice said there is poor compliance with the Code and that victims’ rights are too often not met. Office for National Statistics data showed only 18% of victims were given the opportunity to make a personal statement; only 45% felt the police and other agencies kept them informed; and too few rape victims were asked whether special measures may be needed to suit their needs. 

The Bill would put new duties on criminal justice agencies such as police and the Crown Prosecution Service to collect data on their own compliance with the Code, and give oversight of this to Police and Crime Commissioners. Public bodies would also have a statutory duty to respond to recommendations for improving services made in the Victims’ Commissioner’s annual reports. 

During the evidence session, witnesses will be asked for their assessment of each of the clauses of the Bill and related steps announced by the Government to support improvements to the treatment of victims by the criminal justice system. 

The Justice Committee is accepting written evidence submissions to help inform its inquiry. You can submit evidence here.

Witnesses 

Tuesday 14 June, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

At 2.30pm  

  • Dame Vera Baird QC, Victims’ Commissioner
  • Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner
  • Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner
  • Claire Waxman, Victims’ Commissioner for London

Further information

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