The Role of The Victim in Sentencing

The Role of The Victim in Sentencing

During the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor gives evidence to the magistrate about what sentence to impose, which may include:

– Facts of the case

– A record of any previous convictions

– A victims impact statement

Then the defence is called upon to present any factors in mitigation.

A victim impact statement is a statement read to the court, outlining the full effect of the crime on the victim. The advantages of the statement are:

– Can provide useful information

– Gives the victim a role in the court process, giving the victim and community greater confidence in the system

– May assist in the rehabilitation of the offender, because they get to hear the impact they had


– Embarrassing

– Upsetting

Victims of crime may also be awarded compensation, and have various rights regarding the information they receive about the court case. Victims can also received assistance from support groups and government authorities and may be entitled to various protections.

victim impact statement is a written statement provided to the court at the sentencing hearing by the victim (or the victim’s family) outlining how they have been affected by the crime.

  • Allows the judge to understand how the victim’s life has changed after the offence.

Is often the only opportunity for the victim to be involved in the case.


Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.