The victim in law
A juridical excursus
in The victim in the Irish criminal process
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This chapter is concerned with modest legal details. It examines issues such as the expansion in the use of video-link testimony, the use of intermediaries to contend with the harsh effects of adversarialism, the provision of legal assistance and representation, and the use of out-of-court statements to reduce the need to give viva voce evidence. The issues also include the reliance on prior statements to deal with the spectre of witness intimidation, the socialisation of law through victim impact statements, the development of more relaxed requirement regarding the competence of a witness to testify, and greater recognition of the independence of married spouses. The chapter documents variety of ways in which victims of crime are being accommodated via legal provisions. What must be guarded against in the juridical accommodation of victims is constructive interpretation of process fairness which unites the public interest with victims and against those accused of crime.

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