It has been announced there will be a consultation regarding how complainers make their views known to the court via victim statements after an accused has been found guilty or pled guilty to a crime that had an impact on them. Currently in Scotland this is only available to complainers who are affected by the most violent crimes, including murder. This consultation will consider how this could be done in relation to all serious crimes, including domestic abuse.
This avenue gives complainers a chance to state how they have been affected to the court and for the sheriff to take this into consideration. At the stage where the accused is being sentenced. The consultation will also consider how technology could be used in allowing complainers to make these statements. The Justice Secretary has recently stated: ‘’Victim statements are a way of giving people the option of having their voice heard in court to tell their side of the story – how they and their loved ones have been impacted by the crime. For maximum effectiveness the system must keep pace with technology and changes to the criminal law and we are committed to ensuring the voices of victims are represented as we continue developing victim support.” No concrete plans have yet been put in place.