David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (2):104-117 (2004)
The shift from a welfarist to a retributivist perspective on crime, which is one of the themes of David Garland?s book, has brought with it a renewed emphasis on the victims of crime and their rights. This shift in emphasis, I suggest, raises questions about the way we think of the relationship between individual citizens and between citizens and the state. Different political theories will produce different accounts of this relationship and hence different ways of characterising the status and role of victims in the criminal process. In this paper then I sketch a roughly communitarian view of the citizen relationship as a context for an account of the status of victims. Thus, I argue, we need to consider not just the expectations that victims rightly have that they have rights which should to be recognised in the criminal process but also their duties as participants. Duties which require them to bear witness in calling offenders to account. This gives victims an active role in the criminal process but one that may come at a price since it might require victims to be subjected to greater scrutiny in the process of a criminal trial than they might find bearable
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