The Standing of Victims in Criminal Proceedings Regulations 2014
On the first of December 2014, the Standing of Victims in Criminal Proceedings Regulations 2014 was introduced into Gibraltar law. These Regulations transpose the European Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA of 15 March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings, bringing the European framework into Gibraltar domestic law.
The Regulations focus on the rights, interests and dignity of the individual during criminal proceedings. They outline the duties of competent authorities towards victims, especially regarding victim support, appropriate protection and access to information throughout proceedings.
The changes give victims a real and appropriate role in Gibraltar’s criminal legal system and ensure that victims must be treated with due respect for the individual at every stage. They include measures for the suitable training for personnel involved in proceedings, particularly police officers and legal practitioners, to enable them to meet the needs of the most vulnerable victim groups.
The Regulations aim to increase cross-border co-operation between police forces and legal systems. They allow residents of Gibraltar who are victims of a crime in an EU Member State to report the matter to the Royal Gibraltar Police if the victim was unable to make the complaint where the offence was committed or did not wish to do so and the matter involved a serious offence.
This legislative measure will bring relief those who have for many years argued that the focus of criminal proceedings has for too long been on the accused and that victims are more often than not neglected.