This forum aims to promote one of our journal's primary functions: to bring together scholars and practitioners working in the criminal justice system. It addresses one of the most vexing issues in criminal justice: the role of the victim. The movement promoting victims' rights has gained considerable ground in recent decades--in Canada as well as in other common law jurisdictions (see Roach 1999; Sebba 1996). Victims now have considerably more input into the criminal process than they had 20 years ago. In the area of sentencing, since 1988 crime victims in Canada have had the right to submit a victim impact statement at sentencing; more recent amendments to the Criminal Code have expanded still further the rights of the victim in this regard.
The contributors to this forum address the role of the victim in plea negotiations, a much misunderstood element of the criminal justice system. Victim advocates have long argued that crime victims should have some input into these discussions. Simon Verdun-Jones and Adamira Tijerino, academics from the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, review the experience with respect to victim input, both here and in the United States. They examine a number of different models to provide victims with more "voice" in these discussions.
Their article is followed by commentaries contributed by three experienced and distinguished criminal justice practitioners: Judge Donna Hackett of the Ontario Court of Justice; Nevina Crisante, Counsel for the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat; and Allen Edgar, Director of the Centre for Judicial Research and Education in Toronto. The journal is grateful to these individuals for taking the time from their busy schedules to read and respond to the Verdun-Jones and Tijerino article.
Julian V. Roberts
Editor, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
1999 Due Process and Victims' Rights: The New Law and Politics of Criminal Justice. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
1996 "Third Parties": Victims and the Criminal Justice System. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Rubrique speciale sur le role de la victime dans les negociations de plaidoyer
Introduction du redacteur en chef
Ce forum s'est donne pour objectif de faire la promotion de l'une des fonctions principales de la Revue : rassembler les chercheurs et les praticiens oauvrant au sein du systeme de justice penale. C'est ainsi que, sous cette rubrique speciale, nous voulons approfondir l'une des questions des plus delicates dans le domaine de la justice penale, soit le role de la victime. …