Interests of a Crime Victim in Criminal Procedure

Eglė Matuizienė


The significance of the role of the victim in criminal procedure is undisputed. For the performance of this role, the victim is given procedural rights. However, the practical use of procedural rights of the victim, effective procedural activity and participation in the criminal procedure is determined by the personal interests of the victim. The article first traces the evolution of theoretical criminal procedure models. Then it focuses on the interests of the victim that are significant in criminal procedure.
The classification of personal (subjective) interests of the victim into procedural and material interests is based on the generalization of the accomplished scientific research without analyzing peculiarities of individual cases. Material interests of the victim comprise moral satisfaction with the process and the decision in the case, and restitution (restoration of the legal status harmed by the crime).
According to the theory of punishment as retribution, it is fair and just to make the offender suffer in proportion to the pain he inflicted on others. Moral satisfaction is the pursuit of the victim in getting retribution for the injustice he suffered. The goal of the punishment inter alia is to express that the harm was inflicted on the victim and thus, to satisfy the sense of justice of the victim.
Restitution is interpreted as the interest of the victim to restore the status quo that existed before the crime was committed against him. Thus, restitution comprises not only of the demand for the reparation of material and non-material damages, but the need for an apology from the offender, actual reconciliation and restoration of a benevolent relationship as well.
Procedural interest of the victim is the interest to participate in the proceedings and to make an impact on the progress of the case. The exercise of procedural rights gives an opportunity for the victim of crime to defend his/her position in the criminal case and to accomplish the function of criminal procedure effectively. Procedural remedies of the protection of material interests can obtain two legal forms—the procedural status of the victim or the procedural status of the private prosecutor.
The concept of participation in criminal procedure can be defined as the possibility to control, the right to have a say and to be listened to, as well as being treated with dignity and respect. The main factor influencing the satisfaction of the victim with the system of criminal justice is not the formal role of the victim in the proceedings, but the level of dignity and respect towards him. The concept of participation in criminal procedure includes the right to receive information as well.


criminal procedure; victim of crime; interests of the victim; procedural interest; reparation of damages; restitution; satisfaction

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236