International Research Collaboratives

Victims, Citizenship, and Justice


Dr Robyn Holder

The framing of both legal mobilisation and participation as citizenship practices is core to the theme of this proposal. The perspective is new to research and reform on violence victims, whether examining domestic or international criminal justice, that has commonly focused on the needs of people victimised by violence or on access to justice. Instead, the approach of this proposal posits a political relation between the citizen-victim with justice interests and state criminal justice authorities. Some questions our proposal explores include: What are the similarities and differences to citizen-victims’ participation in criminal justice systems in comparable and different legal systems (from adversarial, to inquisitorial and hybrid)? How are victims’ performance of citizenship inside criminal justice similar or different in different legal systems, and what is provided for them to do so? How are different mechanisms like representation, advocacy and support for victims of violence implanted into different legal systems, and how are they taken up? In what ways do gendered and racialized constructs of people victimised by violence facilitate or inhibit their participation as citizens in criminal justice? How is citizen participation in justice facilitated, diverted, blocked or re-fashioned by justice entities in comparable and different legal systems/countries?

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