Victims' rights - by country

Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

At the end of the trial you will be told about the sentence of the court.

It is not possible for you to appeal against any decisions of the courts but for certain serious offences if you are not satisfied with the sentence imposed by the court following conviction, you can approach the Director of Public Prosecutions who has the right to make a referral to the High Court, if he considers that the sentence was unduly lenient.

Is further appeal possible?

You should be aware that the defendant may appeal the outcome of the case (the verdict and/or the sentence). Depending on the nature of the appeal, you may be required to give evidence again if the appeal amounts to a re-hearing. The Public Prosecution Service will notify you if this is the case.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

You can receive information from the Victim Information Unit under the following victim information schemes by calling 0300 1233 269.

The Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme offers victims the chance to receive and provide information about adult offenders who have been convicted of a crime against them and have received a sentence of six months or more.

Victims can receive details of:

  • periods of temporary release granted to the offender;
  • the month and year in which the offender is expected to be released from custody;
  • any conditions of their release; and
  • any breaches of those conditions, which would result in the offender being returned to custody.

The Probation Board for Northern Ireland Victim Information Scheme aims:

  • to empower victims of crime and contribute to community safety by providing relevant information about Probation Supervised Sentences in a manner which is accessible, understandable, respectful and supportive;
  • to work in partnership with other Criminal Justice agencies and Victim organisations to provide an integrated service to victims when a Probation Supervised Sentence is imposed.

The Victim Information Scheme provides the following:

  • information about the specific sentence in your case and general information about PBNI’s supervision of offenders;
  • the opportunity to discuss your concerns which may inform the management of the offender;
  • information can be provided to you in writing, by phone or in a face-to-face meeting with a PBNI Victim Liaison Officer;
  • information can be provided, if appropriate about any organisation which may be able to offer your specific support in relation to your own experiences/needs as a victim of crime;
  • the opportunity to be involved, on a voluntary basis, in direct or indirect restorative contact with the offender if this would help you address issues resulting from the offence.

The Mentally Disordered Offenders’ Victim Information Scheme provides a service for victims of offences committed by mentally ill offenders who are held for treatment in hospital in Northern Ireland under a hospital order and a restriction order.

More information:

  • Victim Charter: a charter for victims of crime
  • A Guide to Northern Ireland’s Criminal Justice System for Victims and Witnesses of Crime – in English
  • A Guide to Northern Ireland’s Criminal Justice System for bereaved families and friends following murder or manslaughter – in English
  • Crime, justice and the law section of the NIDirect Website – in English
Last update: 14/03/2019

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

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