Resolution Aiming at Securing Equal Access to Comprehensive Support for Crime Victims
Since the JFBA adopted the “Resolution Requesting the Establishment of the Rights of Crime Victims and the Provision of Comprehensive Support for the Establishment of Such Right” in 2003, the support policy for crime victims in Japan has made advancements to a certain degree. In 2004, the Basic Act on Crime Victims was enacted, and it was followed by the formulation of the Basic Plan for Crime Victims in 2005. Since 2006, the systems concerning the payment of benefits for crime victims have been constantly improving.
In the meantime, measures have not yet been realized for the provision of financial support wherein public funds can be allotted for victims to receive legal support from lawyers immediately after being involved in an incident, or wherein the state can provide victims with compensatory damages. In addition, there still remains a significant difference among local governments in terms of the enactment of ordinances to support crime victims at the local governmental level or the creation of a one-stop support center for victims of sexual offences or violence.
In the first place, crime victims are a subject “whose dignity is to be respected and who is deserving of appropriate treatment.” The state, as well as broader society, bear the responsibility for making continued efforts to improve the support measures for crime victims as they are the holders of such rights.
With the above, we request the state and the local public bodies to take the following measures:
- To take necessary steps to secure the effectiveness of damage recovery so that crime victims can promptly and definitively receive compensatory damages through taking civil actions;
- To create legislation on compensation for crime victims to improve financial support therefor, while taking steps to reduce the procedural burdens imposed on victims;
- To establish a program for lawyers to provide crime victims with publicly funded support so that any crime victim can receive substantial legal support from lawyers immediately after an incident occurs;
- To create at least one one-stop support center based in a hospital for victims of sexual offences or violence in each prefecture, and to ensure full financial support from the state; and
- For all local bodies to enact an ordinance on support for crime victims, and to implement support programs for crime victims according to local requirements.
The JFBA affirms that we, as lawyers, shall continue to improve our support activities for crime victims. Further, we will continue our discussion on the establishment of a governmental authority for crime victims to achieve unified support at the national level, and make our best efforts to realize a society where all crime victims receive equal and substantial support.
October 6, 2017
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations