Areas of focus for the Chief Victims Advisor

Since the role was established in November 2015, the Chief Victims Advisor has focused on:

  • visiting specialist courts and exploring innovative approaches to the court system to better support victims of serious crime, especially vulnerable witnesses such as children
  • collecting victims’ data and conducting research to find out where there are gaps and what kinds of information need to be collected to better understand how the criminal justice system can be improved for victims
  • facilitating the incorporation of a Māori victim’s voice in the development and implementation of the Māori Justice Outcomes Strategy
  • consulting with key stakeholders to explore improvements to court support and services for victims, as well as looking at initiatives to address difficulties for particular victims in court, including vulnerable witnesses and victims of family and sexual violence
  • exploring alternative options for justice for cases not suitable for the current court process (including because victims don’t want to engage), in particular looking at recommendations made in the Law Commission’s report ‘The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence: Criminal Trials and Alternative Processes’.

Government priorities

The Government has made a commitment to improving services and include victims at the centre of decision-making. Since September 2015, the Government has established some key initiatives to follow through with this commitment:

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