, the plaintiff is not the actual crime victim; it is the European Union State in which the individual resides. According to the Framework Decision 2001-Standing of Victims in Criminal Proceeding, it is the responsibility of the member states to assure that the victims who wish to be informed throughout the course of the judicial process be informed. The scope of the information provided includes information on the outcome of the judicial proceeding, information necessary to maintain the security of the victims and their families, information regarding the sentence as well as the necessary services available to help the victim (Legislation Online, 2004). The Standing represented a starting point in the treatment of crime victims but it was necessary to supplement those findings. The supplementation came in the form of the 2006 recommendations. The recommendations operated with the aim of updating the standards since the laws have changed, preventing re-victimization and offering clear an concise guidelines aimed at ensuring that the member States treat the victims in accordance with the laws (European Committee on Crime Problems, 2006).
In addition to the standing of victims in criminal proceedings the notion of restorative justice looms large. ...
ustice places the needs of the victims first and foremost and justice is rendered in such a manner as to enable the victim to have optimal participation in the course of justice while encouraging accountability on the part of the offender (Rigby 82).
Utilizing the notion of restorative justice, a victim may request a restorative justice as a means of making the offender cognizant of the way in which the crime has affected the victim, gaining information as a means of coming to grips with the rationale behind the crime and the reason he/she has been made a victim and finally to gain closure by being able to forgive the offender in an open manner. Restorative justice marks a stark departure from the traditional form of justice which was essentially retributive justice wherein the preliminary goal was one aimed at punishing the offender by restricting his/her liberties and/or imparting monetary restitution. This is an indirect means of rendering justice as often the terms of the punitive measures undertaken are reached with minimal input or involvement by the victim (Cartwright 81).
In examining the notion of restorative justice, it is prudent that we examine the rights of victims and frame this examination within the context of applications of restorative justice. First and foremost, the rights of victims and the responsibilities of the judicial system are delineated in the Human Rights Act of 1998, the Crime Victims Charters, Code of Practice for Victims, Victims Advisory Panel and other governmental bodies including the European Council. These bodies together delineate and define the treatment of crime victims with the goal of minimizing the effects of the crime on the victim while ensuring the rights of the victimizer are not violated. The rights of crime