Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Northern Territory Government’s new Charter of Victims’ Rights.

Jesuit Social Services has been working for over 40 years with people involved in the criminal justice system. Over this time, there has been growing recognition of the needs and rights of victims of crime. Victims are now recognised as more than simply a witness for the prosecution; policy and law reforms have supported their right to respect, safety, information and a voice in the criminal justice process.

The adoption of restorative justice processes has been part of this evolution, providing an alternative approach within a traditionally adversarial justice system: one that seeks to respond to harm with healing, in contrast to a narrow focus on punishment and retribution. We believe that expanding restorative justice and building a culture of therapeutic jurisprudence offers a better way of ‘doing justice’ for victims, offenders and the wider community.

Our submission provides some brief comments on the new Charter, namely:

  • the need for strategies to ensure victims’ rights articulated in the Charter are upheld
  • the importance of recognising the particular needs of victims from marginalised groups
  • opportunities to strengthen and expand trauma-informed practice, therapeutic jurisprudence and the availability of restorative options for benefit of both victims and offenders.

Download your copy of our Submission to the Northern Territory Government’s consultation on a draft Charter of Victims’ Rights