Westminster Legal Policy Forum

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Next steps for the Victims Bill, supporting victims and strengthening their voice in the justice system

Morning, Friday, 2nd December 2022


This conference examines the draft Victims’ Bill and the next steps for improving the provision and quality of victims’ services in England and Wales.


It will also be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to look at priorities for government policy under a new Prime Minister.


Delegates will discuss the provisions set out in the draft bill, including the new duties of collaboration between key local bodies, such as Police and Crime Commissioners, Integrated Care boards and Local Authorities.


The agenda also looks at the processes, frameworks and structures to facilitate effective design and implementation of local delivery strategies.


Further sessions consider options for improving the support and agency of victims through courtroom reforms and legal support. Delegates will also discuss the next steps for advocates and independent advisors, and the priorities for improving communication, engagement and trust in the criminal justice system.


Further areas for discussion include:

  • inclusion - strategies for co-production - engagement with those with lived experience - ensuring that the views and interests of victims are taken into account in policy and implementation
  • accountability - strategies for measuring the performance of commissioned services and their compliance with the Victims Code - options for the collection of outcomes, metrics and data
  • funding - sustainable long-term funding - assessing tendering processes and incentives
  • coordination - developing joint local strategies and partnership structures - involving wider services and integrated support for children
  • reducing barriers - improving access to support for victims with disabilities, trauma and those from disadvantaged or marginalised communities
  • role of victims in prosecution - options for improving the support and agency of victims throughout the criminal justice system

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Sir Bob Neill MP, Chair, Justice Committee; Iryna Pona, Policy and Impact Manager, The Children’s Society; and Claire Waxman, Victims’ Commissioner for London.


Further speakers include Dr Susie Balderston, Research Fellow, Law, University of Strathclyde; Grace Cowell, Barrister, One Pump Court; Martin Jones, CEO, Parole Board; Alex Mayes, External Affairs Manager, Victim Support; Lisa McCrindle, Assistant Director, Policy, Communications and Strategic Influence, Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre); Stephanie Needleman, Public Lawyer, JUSTICE; Dr Charlotte Proudman, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers; Lisa Townsend, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey; and Baljit Ubhey, Director of Strategy and Policy, Crown Prosecution Service.


The chair is Baroness Newlove, Deputy Speaker, House of Lords; and former Victims’ Commissioner (2012-2019).



Keynote Speakers

Claire Waxman

Victims’ Commissioner for London

Iryna Pona

Policy and Impact Manager, The Children’s Society

Sir Bob Neill MP

Chair, Justice Committee

Chair

Baroness Newlove

Deputy Speaker, House of Lords; and former Victims’ Commissioner (2012-2019)

Speakers

Baljit Ubhey

Director of Strategy and Policy, Crown Prosecution Service

Stephanie Needleman

Public Lawyer, JUSTICE

Fay Maxted

Chief Executive, The Survivors Trust

Alex Mayes

External Affairs Manager, Victim Support

Grace Cowell

Barrister, One Pump Court

Councillor Brenda Dacres

Deputy Mayor of Lewisham, Cabinet Member for Housing Development and Planning

Lisa Townsend

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey

Dr Susie Balderston

Research Fellow, Law, University of Strathclyde

Lisa McCrindle

Assistant Director, Policy, Communications and Strategic Influence, Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre)

Martin Jones

CEO, Parole Board

Dr Charlotte Proudman

Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers

Joy Allen

Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham