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Next Steps Towards a Victim-Centred Justice System

The Scottish Government has committed to ensuring the voices of victims 'are heard, to streamline their journey through the criminal justice system, and to provide wide-ranging support and accessible information through[out] the process'.

The Context

This event examines the next steps for creating a victim-centred justice system in Scotland and what this means for justice organisations, victims, and the professionals who support them. 

The Victims Taskforce was established in 2018 to drive forward this agenda. Informed by a Victims Sounding Board and victim reference groups, the Taskforce is overseeing work to improve the information available to victims, review how data is shared between different organisations that victims come into contact with, and explore the use of digital tools to support victims. This complements a broad suite of developments being pursued by the Scottish Government that are intended to put victims first.

Critics argue, however, that the Scottish Government must go further, calling for a specific requirement for the prison service to take victim welfare into account prior to granting temporary release, published reasons for release decisions, and the greater use of exclusion zones. 

Join us on 22 January to hear from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Huzma Yousaf MSP, who will brief us on the Scottish Government's priorities for creating a victim-centred justice system. We will also explore what recent and forthcoming developments mean for your work and organisation, learn about how to overcome the barriers you face in improving the experiences of victims, and network with colleagues from across justice agencies, third sector support organisations, and local and central government.  

Key Issues We'll Discuss

  • Update on the Scottish Government's approach to justice and the work of the Victims Taskforce 
  • Proposed changes to the victim statement scheme and securing buy-in from victims 
  • Progressing the Restorative Justice Action Plan
  • Embedding a trauma-informed approach for all services that come into contact with victims 
  • Transparent sentencing and including victims in justice management
  • Creating a collaborative, multi-agency, 'One Front Door' system of support for victims 

Confirmed Speakers

  • Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice

  • John Scott QC, Solicitor Advocate 

  • Kate Wallace, Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland

  • Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st

  • Dr Stephanie Fohring, Lecturer in Criminology, Edinburgh Napier University 

  • Gillian Mawdsley, Solicitor, Policy Executive, and Secretary to the Criminal Law Committee at the Law Society of Scotlan

  • Sharon Belshaw, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Break the Silence

  • Meg Binns , Lead Practitioner, The Cairn Project

  • Lesley Craig, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Break the Silence

  • Chair: Dr Katy Proctor, Lecturer in Criminology and Policing, Glasgow Caledonian University

Agenda

 

09:30 Registration and Refreshments

09:55 Welcome from the Chair
Dr Katy Proctor, Lecturer in Criminology and Policing, Glasgow Caledonian University 

Session 1: Major Reforms That Put Victims First – Policy Landscape

  • Update on the Scottish Government's approach to justice and the work of the Victims Taskforce 
  • Proposed changes to the victim statement scheme and securing buy-in from victims 
  • Progressing the Restorative Justice Action Plan and balancing rehabilitation with the rights of victims 

10:00 Scottish Government Address

Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice

10:15 Questions and Discussion with the Cabinet Secretary

10:30 Putting Victims First - Some Practical Challenges

  • Culture
  • Technology
  • Right to a Fair Trial

John Scott QC, Solicitor Advocate 

10:50 Victim-Centred Justice In Scotland

  • Role of Victim Support Scotland
  • National service provider
  • Leading on victims’ engagement
  • Leading in the taskforce to develop a victims’ approach
  • Thoughts on ‘relation’ to feedback from victims and others
  • Implications for the way forward

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland

11:10 Questions and Discussion 

11:20 Refreshments and Networking 

Session 2: Supporting Victims And Safeguarding Their Rights – Overcoming Barriers

  • Supporting vulnerable witnesses 
  • Embedding a trauma-informed approach 
  • Transparent sentencing and including victims in justice management

11:40 Scotland’s Barnahus – transforming child victims and witnesses experiences of justice

Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st

12:00 Supporting the Invisible Victim

  • Review: victims who don’t report crime
  • What are the reasons behind non-reporting?
  • What are the implications of non-reporting?
  • What can we do?

Dr Stephanie Fohring, Lecturer in Criminology, Edinburgh Napier University

12:20 Questions and Discussion 

12:30 Lunch and Networking

Session 3: Creating the Best Possible System of Victim Care – Next Steps & Good Practice

  • A collaborative, multi-agency, 'One Front Door' system of support for victims 
  • Support in practice: young victims and survivors 
  • Equipping lawyers to support vulnerable clients 

13:15 Interactive Discussions 

Delegates will be divided into small groups to discuss what can be learned from the morning presentations for your own work and organisation. This is an opportunity to begin to think about what next steps can be taken to put victims at the centre of Scotland's justice system. 

13:45 Supporting Vulnerable Clients

Gillian Mawdsley, Solicitor, Policy Executive, and Secretary to the Criminal Law Committee at the Law Society of Scotland

14:05 The Cairn Project

Megg Binns, Lead Practitioner, The Cairn Project

14:25 The Power of Silence

  • About Break the Silence
  • The Power of Silence
  • George's Story

Sharon Belshaw, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Break the Silence 
Lesley Craig, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Break the Silence 

14:45 Questions and Discussion

14:55 Chair's Closing Remarks

Dr Katy Proctor, Lecturer in Criminology and Policing, Glasgow Caledonian University 

15:00 Close of Event 

Please note that all speakers and the agenda are subject to change without notice. 

Get In Touch

Book now or  or call Craig on 01312851688

If you have an inspiring case study or a project that you think is relevant, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are always on the lookout for new speakers. 


Rates

Reduced Rate
1 place: £145+VAT
Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m

Standard Rate
1 place: £245+ VAT | 2+ places: £195+ VAT per place
Public sector organisations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m

Private Sector Rate
1 place £295+VAT | 2+ places £245+ VAT per place
Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

 

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Date
22 Jan 2020
Venue
Cosla Conference Centre, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH
Cost
Reduced Rate
1 place: £145+VAT

Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m

Standard Rate
1 place: £245+ VAT | 2+ places: £195+ VAT per place

Public sector organisations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m

Private Sector Rate
1 place: £295+VAT | 2+ places: £245+ VAT per place

Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

Book now
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