The victim and the justice system
From key personal stakeholder to institutional outcast
in The victim in the Irish criminal process
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This chapter explains the emergence of the modern assumptions commitments and strategic priorities that have shaped the position of the victim in the justice system. In particular, it demonstrates how the paradigm of prosecuting and investigating crime moved from an intensely local, unstructured and victim-precipitated arrangement to a structured, adversarial, State-monopolised event where the accused was largely silenced and the victim was rendered invisible. The chapter traces the ways in which different justice systems have accommodated victims of crime. It highlights the broad historical changes in the assumptions and realities that governed victim relations under pre-modern exculpatory and modern inculpatory models of justice. The chapter represents the shift from personal to institutional relations, ensuring that subjective and emotive experiences were increasingly represented as invalid, tainted knowledge.

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