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What's the law in this area?

Law and Policy

The European Union Directive 2012/29/EU, establishing minimum standards on the rights, supports and protection of victims of crime, aims to ensure that victims of crime receive appropriate information, support and protection and are able to participate in criminal proceedings. It requires that each country in the European Union (EU) shall ensure that victims are recognised and treated in a respectful, sensitive, tailored, professional and non-discriminatory manner, in all contacts with victim support, restorative justice services or, a competent authority, operating within the context of criminal proceedings.  The rights set out in this Directive shall apply to victims in a non-discriminatory manner, including with respect to their residence status.

To ensure An Garda Síochána meets the requirements of the Directive, we use the following definitions:

  • A ‘victim’ is:

(i) a natural person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence;

(ii) family members of a person whose death was directly caused by a criminal offence and who have suffered harm as a result of that person's death;

  • 'family members' are

the spouse, the person who is living with the victim in a committed intimate relationship, in a joint household and on a stable and continuous basis, the relatives in direct line, the siblings and the dependants of the victim;

  • a 'child' is:

any person below 18 years of age.