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Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

Section 55: Victims’ Advisory Panel

151.Section 55 requires the Secretary of State to appoint a Victims’ Advisory Panel which he can consult on matters relating to victims and witnesses of crime and of anti-social behaviour. The Panel will be required to publish an annual report if the Secretary of State has consulted it during a particular year. The Secretary of State must consult the Attorney General and the Lord Chancellor before appointing or removing a member of the Panel.

152.The Home Secretary announced his intention to set up a Victims’ Advisory Panel in March 2002, as stated in paragraph 2.45 (page 48) of the July 2002 White Paper “Justice For All”. A non-statutory advisory non-departmental public body known as the Victims’ Advisory Panel was duly recruited and met for the first time on 3 March 2003.

153.The membership of the current Panel comprises ten voluntary lay members, who have direct experience of victimisation, three co-opted members representing wider victims’ interests, representatives of voluntary organisations to which the Government provides core funding to provide direct services to victims and witnesses, and senior officials from criminal justice agencies. It is chaired by the Minister for Criminal Justice, and is also attended by a minister from the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and the Solicitor General.

154.By subsection (7) the non-statutory Victims’ Advisory Panel is to be treated as having been established in accordance with this section.

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