Justice system intimidating and impersonal for victims - Gil Elliot

The father of murder victim Sophie Elliott believes the justice system is failing the needs of victims.

A survey for the Government's criminal justice reform programme has shown the system often lets victims down.

"Almost every day I hear complaints from victim advocates about victims not feeling supported, believed, or listened to and the victims voices we are hearing from the survey are telling us the same thing," Government chief victims advisor Kim McGregor said in a statement accompanying the survey results.

Gil Elliott told Newshub he isn't surprised by the results.

"The criminal justice system takes charge and they prosecute on behalf of society, on behalf of the state. They don't prosecute on behalf of the victim."

The Government-requested survey has found 57 percent of crime victims had a poor, or very poor, overall experience of the system.

Another survey from victim support found nearly 70 percent of victims feel justice has not been served in their case.

Mr Elliot said he found the court process impersonal and intimidating.

"You feel as if you're really not welcome, in fact they will tell you that, they will say to you 'you don't have to be here you know, we're going to look after this.'"

He said the court process is all about the prosecution and defence.

"Victims feel side-lined because, first of all they're not even referred to, unless you're a witness you have no part at all to play in the criminal justice system."

The Government is calling for feedback on its survey as part of its criminal justice reform programme.


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