Abstract

This paper presents a selection of the findings of a larger empirical research study into the mode of trial decisions in two English magistrates’ courts (Cammiss 2005). While the interests of victims within the criminal justice process have recently risen up the political agenda, researchers and policy makers have said little on the place of the victim within the mode of trial hearing. This paper addresses the treatment of domestic violence victims in the mode of trial hearing and shows how, when compared with similar offences, cases of domestic violence are more likely to be disposed of in the magistrates’ court rather than the Crown Court. The role of the prosecutor in managing information placed before the court is examined and the consequences for the airing of victims’ stories are explored.

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