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Establishing Minimum Standards on the Rights, Support and Protection of Victims of Crime

This Directive will replace the Framework Decision on the Standing of the Victims in Criminal Proceedings (2001/220/JHA). The failure of the 2001 EU Framework Decision and that fact that not a single Member State implemented the Framework and, as such, did not give victims access to all the contained rights has demonstrated the importance of European monitoring and implementation. The new Directive will lay down minimum rules to ensure that whatever the crime and wherever the crime takes place throughout the EU, all victims:     Have the same basic rights in criminal proceedings; Are treated with respect and dignity; Are protected from repeat or further victimisation; Have access to victim support services (such as psychological support, trauma care or legal advice), justice and compensation; and  Are entitled to have their specific needs assessed (which should be carried out several times during criminal proceedings to take account of any changes in the victim's situation), with a view to granting them special protection during criminal proceedings. This will guarantee minimum rights for all victims, and ensure clear, concrete obligations on areas of need such as; provision of information and support (right to understand and be understood, right to interpretation and translation), participation in criminal proceedings, recognition of vulnerability and protection, training of practitioners, cooperation and coordination, provision of data and statistics. Children's specific rights and needs will also to be taken into account in all cases and child victims will be given the opportunity to play an active role in criminal proceedings and to have their testimony taken into account. Member States may extend the rights in order to provide a higher level of protection. The UK Government did have an opt-out but has said that it will adopt this Directive and the Scottish Government announced their plans for a Victims and Witnesses Bill (announced in Programme for Government 2012-13) which will ensure that Scotland complies with this Directive.
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2 The deadline for transposition in national law of this Directive will be three years after its adoption. Result of Vote in Committee Adopted by 76: 1: 1 Result of Vote in Plenary Adopted by 611: 9: 13