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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Terese Henning

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of major mechanisms instituted in Australia to ameliorate the experience of vulnerability arising as a corollary of involvement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of major mechanisms instituted in Australia to ameliorate the experience of vulnerability arising as a corollary of involvement in Australian criminal courts as defendants, victims or witnesses of crime or family members/friends of such people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins by providing an overview of two major categories of vulnerability within the criminal justice system – generally experienced vulnerability arising as a corollary of involvement in Australian criminal courts and attribute-based vulnerability. It focusses on the former locating it within a human rights framework. It then outlines dominant responses to this form of vulnerability. Finally it considers the potential for the Court Network program to achieve a more integrated approach to ameliorating this form of vulnerability.

Findings

The paper takes the view that major responses to systemic vulnerability in the criminal justice system fall short of adequately managing this form of vulnerability. It suggests that the Court Network model has the potential to address some lacunae in other responses and importantly to provide a gateway to them.

Originality/value

It explores an aspect of vulnerability that is now infrequently addressed and considers one option to supply lacunae in other major responses that has not yet been brought into the scholarly discussion in any significant way.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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