Justice Minister launches Victim and Witness Charters campaign

Date published: 25 February 2024

Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched a public awareness campaign to promote the rights of victims and witnesses.

The campaign is in partnership with the Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime, Geraldine Hanna.

The “These are your rights” campaign aims to highlight the rights of victims and witnesses under the Victim Charter and the Witness Charter available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/charters.

Minister Long said: “I recognise that being the victim of crime or a witness to crime can be traumatic and that the criminal justice system can be daunting to navigate.

“This campaign seeks to raise awareness of both the Victim Charter and the Witness Charter, so you know where to turn for the support and information you need.

“The charters set out your rights including to be treated with dignity and respect, to be told about available support, provided with all the information you need and given an opportunity for your concerns to be addressed. These are your rights.”

Some of the key rights include: Referrals to free, confidential services; information on decisions relating to your case; requesting a court familiarisation visit; and having the opportunity to tell the court how the crime has harmed you.

Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime Geraldine Hanna said: “Many of the victims I have spoken to have told me of their challenging experiences in the criminal justice system.

“It is my hope that this campaign will help to reassure victims and witnesses that they do have rights. Those rights exist so that victims can be understood, protected and supported by the agencies and service providers they encounter on their journey through the justice system.”

The campaign, which is available on YouTube will also run across local TV, digital channels, social media and newspapers in the coming weeks.  

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: Justice Minister Naomi Long and Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime Geraldine Hanna have launched the “These are your rights” public awareness campaign, which sets out the rights of victims and witnesses in the Victim Charter and the Witness Charter.
  2. The campaign will contribute to the implementation of a key priority under the Victim and Witness Strategy 2021-24 to ensure that victims and witnesses receive the services and information they need.
  3. Further information on the Commissioner for Victims of Crime can be found on their website: Commissioner for Victims of Crime Northern Ireland (cvocni.org)
  4. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email at: press.office@justice-ni.gov.uk
  5.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
  6. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) https://twitter.com/home @Justice_NI

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