Victims and witnesses Commission needed to look after their needs – CJ

Chief Justice Anthony Gates believes that there needs to be a victims and witnesses Commission to look after their needs. Chief Justice Gates highlighted this in a panel discussion at the launch of the Balancing the Scales report by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.

He says there is a need for this Commission because of the impartial roles where the prosecutor must be impartial neither be too compassionate or aggressive but he must be aloof from the matter of deciding whether somebody needs to be prosecuted on the evidence available or not. While speaking in the panel discussion, Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde says that he supports the idea of having a victims and witnesses Commission.

Pryde says one area that does not seem to be getting a lot of attention is the victim impact statements which is being done by police officers who very quickly take a few details from the witness. He says a psychologist is needed to be able to give an expert opinion on the impact of the offence on the victim.

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