Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

CDPP Victims of Crime Policy

15 June 2009
1. It is important that all CDPP staff treat victims with courtesy, dignity and respect. 2. In the context of this policy, a victim of crime is an identified individual who has suffered harm as a direct result of an offence or offences committed, or apparently committed, against Commonwealth law or prosecuted by Commonwealth authorities.  'Harm' includes physical or mental injury, pregnancy, emotional suffering or economic loss. 3. The CDPP is an independent agency created by the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to prosecute alleged offences against Commonwealth law.  The CDPP recognises that in matters where there is a victim, that person has an important role in the prosecution process.  The CDPP does not act on behalf of a victim as solicitors act for their clients.  In carrying out its functions, the CDPP acts on behalf of the whole community.  The role of the victim in the prosecution will depend on the circumstances of the case. 4. Victims should, on request, be kept informed of the progress of the prosecution in a timely manner, including:
  1. the charges laid;
  2. the date and place of hearing of any charges laid;
  3. the outcome of any bail proceedings; and
  4. the outcome of proceedings, including appeal proceedings.
5. Victims should be advised about the prosecution process, that is, the various stages in a matter being heard before a court. Where a victim may be required to give evidence, any inconvenience to the victim should be minimised, as far as possible.  Victims should also be advised in relation to their role as a witness. 6. The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth provides for the views of any victims where those views are available, and where it is appropriate, to be considered and taken into account when deciding whether it is in the public interest to:
  1. commence a prosecution:
  2. discontinue a prosecution;
  3. agree to a charge negotiation; or
  4. decline to proceed with a prosecution after a committal.
Victims should be consulted, as appropriate, and kept informed of these decisions in a timely manner. 7. A victim’s need or perceived need for security as provided by the investigation agency and/or the victim will be put before the court in determining bail where appropriate. 8. The views of victims specified in paragraphs 6 and 7 are not required to be sought when the victim has indicated that they do not want to be consulted or when the whereabouts of the victim cannot be ascertained after reasonable inquiry. 9. In prosecutions which involve a large number of victims, it may be appropriate for the CDPP to communicate information and seek views of the victims through electronic means, such as the CDPP’s website or through the relevant investigative agency. 10. A victim’s privacy and personal information will be protected as appropriate and as far as possible. 11. The CDPP will comply with this policy in its dealings with victims.
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