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Third party challenges to the courts’ treatment of offenders

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I will argue that – as an exception to the general rule adopted in England and Wales – third parties, including victims, should in some circumstances be permitted to bring proceedings for (inter alia) judicial review of sentences, and other measures, imposed on offenders. Such proceedings should not be ruled out when parts of sentences, or other orders, are meant to affect the interests of individual third parties themselves, and the prosecution cannot reasonably be expected to be solely responsible for protecting those interests. However, I will also conclude that, from a public law perspective, there is a preferable solution. Third parties who may be adversely affected by sentences or orders imposed on offenders should sometimes be given a limited degree of involvement in the process leading up to the imposition of those sentences or orders. Recent legislation takes us some way towards this goal.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Law Commission for England and Wales; Professor of Criminal Law, Oxford University *

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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