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Khan vow to bring in 'victim's law'

Victims must no longer be treated as criminals in court hearings, the shadow justice secretary has said.

Ahead of his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce a "victims' law" as a new act of parliament to strengthen the rights of victims and witnesses.

Mr Khan will also announce plans to require judges to set out "in plain English" a clear minimum and maximum time that can be served in prison for offences.

The shadow justice secretary said: "For too long, victims have been ignored or considered an afterthought. But this has to stop.

"We can't go on with victims being treated as criminals in court hearings, or being the last to know when their attackers have been let out of prison. We need to do all we can to give victims and witnesses the confidence to come forward and report crimes."

He continued: "The next Labour government will make victims a priority, bringing an end to victims being just an afterthought.

"We'll introduce a victims' law as a new act of parliament written in plain English, so that everyone involved in our justice system from court staff, to judges, to probation officers to victims will know what their rights are, and what to expect."

Mr Khan is expected to attack the "lip service" paid by the Government to victims and witnesses in his speech, and criticise its policies on sentencing and victims' rights.

He will also condemn the Government's "reckless" plans to privatise the probation service and hand over supervision of offenders to private firms such as G4S and Serco.

The shadow justice secretary will also announce plans to use the internet to allow victims to track progress on their cases online.


From Belfast Telegraph