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Suggestions for Improving Protection and Support for Criminal Victims

  • Legal Theory & Practice Review
  • Abbr : LTPR
  • 2013, 1(1), pp.155-192
  • Publisher : The Korea Society for Legal Theory and Practice Inc.
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law

seunghun Jeom 1

1원광대학교

ABSTRACT

Since the state owns and exercises the exclusive authority for prosecution, jurisdiction and punishment over its people, it should be responsible for protecting them when they are injured by criminals. It would be thus reasonable for the state to adopt a criminal policy to save the victims from injuries promptly and to facilitate the offenders to return to society. The article 30 of the Korean constitution stipulates that "any of the people who lost life or get injured physically from offense of others shall have the right to receive aid from the state as specified by the law", providing by thus for a legal basis for protecting criminal victims. Based on this provision, the 'law for protecting criminal victims' was legislated. Most measures to protect and support criminal victims in Korea are concerned for certain crimes like sexual offence, domestic violence, sex trafficking, etc. that might frequently produce female victims. And even measures for protection and support for such victims themselves have suffered from financial deficiency and lack of professional manpower. Although, in addition to monetary compensation in practical terms, various approaches for aid are needed to recover the loss of victims, it can not be a realistic solution to completely rely on the state for such measures since tremendous amount of money is needed and large scale of manpower, organization and financing must be mobilized to that end. This is why it has been discussed recurrently to build up a social system under the initiative of civil organizations to provide aids to victims like treatment, counselling and economic subsidies. The 'law for protecting criminal victims', also known popularly as the Korean version of Bill of Rights, was legislated on Dec. 01, ensuring by thus the systematic protection and support for criminal victims. Thanks to enactment of the law, 57 centers for supporting criminal victims were established across the country and the criminal mediation system was put in effect. It was made known, however, that the staff of the centers are not sufficiently qualified to handle their job and their budget as well as manpower are far from satisfactory enough to perform their assignments properly. The criminal mediation had been practiced even without legitimate ground until it was backed up legally in 2010 when the law for protecting criminal victims was revised, although it has yet some problems in it. It is the intent of this paper to investigate the issues concerning the criminal mediation system, aids to save criminal victims and centers for supporting criminal victims as well as to suggest measures to improve these issues.Since the state owns and exercises the exclusive authority for prosecution, jurisdiction and punishment over its people, it should be responsible for protecting them when they are injured by criminals. It would be thus reasonable for the state to adopt a criminal policy to save the victims from injuries promptly and to facilitate the offenders to return to society. The article 30 of the Korean constitution stipulates that "any of the people who lost life or get injured physically from offense of others shall have the right to receive aid from the state as specified by the law", providing by thus for a legal basis for protecting criminal victims. Based on this provision, the 'law for protecting criminal victims' was legislated. Most measures to protect and support criminal victims in Korea are concerned for certain crimes like sexual offence, domestic violence, sex trafficking, etc. that might frequently produce female victims. And even measures for protection and support for such victims themselves have suffered from financial deficiency and lack of professional manpower. Although, in addition to monetary compensation in practical terms, various approaches for aid are needed to recover the loss of victims, it can not be a realistic solution to completely rely on the state for such measures since tremendous amount of money is needed and large scale of manpower, organization and financing must be mobilized to that end. This is why it has been discussed recurrently to build up a social system under the initiative of civil organizations to provide aids to victims like treatment, counselling and economic subsidies. The 'law for protecting criminal victims', also known popularly as the Korean version of Bill of Rights, was legislated on Dec. 01, ensuring by thus the systematic protection and support for criminal victims. Thanks to enactment of the law, 57 centers for supporting criminal victims were established across the country and the criminal mediation system was put in effect. It was made known, however, that the staff of the centers are not sufficiently qualified to handle their job and their budget as well as manpower are far from satisfactory enough to perform their assignments properly. The criminal mediation had been practiced even without legitimate ground until it was backed up legally in 2010 when the law for protecting criminal victims was revised, although it has yet some problems in it. It is the intent of this paper to investigate the issues concerning the criminal mediation system, aids to save criminal victims and centers for supporting criminal victims as well as to suggest measures to improve these issues.

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