Over the years, the role of victims in the criminal process has considerably evolved in common law jurisdictions, particularly in the United States and England and Wales. These notable developments have varied greatly between these two jurisdictions. These differences are in great part attributed to the different forces and rationales behind the emergence of the early victims’ movements in these respective jurisdictions. Indeed, the movements in the United States and England and Wales adopted different philosophies, strategies, and members came from different backgrounds, which can account for the differences in policies. This article engages in a process of comparative distancing between the forces that drove the movements, as well as the context under which they operated in order to understand the different policies, legal responses and debates that relate to the role of victims of crime in the two selected jurisdictions.
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