GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS)

, 4:15

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Finding Voice for Victims of Crime in the Adversarial Criminal Justice System

  • Yahya Duro Uthman HambaliAffiliated withUniversity Belfast


Adversarial criminal justice system is designed to accommodate only two parties, the prosecution and the defendant, in the combative atmosphere of its trial process. The victim has no right of audience other than as witness for the prosecution. The involvement of victims as active participants in the exclusionary adversarial criminal justice system continue to attract debates among scholars. Whereas some favour the involvement because of its cathartic value for victims others oppose it on ground of the dislocation this might bring to the system and the threat to the defendants’ rights. Although, there have been significant victim reforms in some advanced jurisdictions creating some forms of rights for the victim, the rights remain unenforceable internally of the criminal justice process but externally of it through some administrative mechanisms. This paper reviews the position of some of the scholars on the foregoing, the various models of the system that have been constructed by scholars to accommodate victims and the emerging rights for victims. The position of this paper is that for the rights so far created for victims of crime to be truly beneficial, the so-called rights should be enforceable internally of the system with the necessary safeguards for the existing rights of offenders.


Adversarial criminal justice system victims of crime model participation rights enforcement