Legal Rights

Victims have a variety of legal rights in the provincial and federal justice systems. Below are the primary pieces of legislation concerning victims’ rights relevant to anyone who has been the victim of a crime in British Columbia, as well as other resources regarding the legal elements of victimization.

Website

Sets out the rights of victims, including to:

  • Be treated fairly and with respect by all workers in the criminal justice system;
  • Receive information about:
    • Victim services available
    • Benefits
    • Financial assistance for criminal injury
    • How the criminal justice system works
    • Right to privacy

Website

Provides victims with the rights to information, protection, participation, and restitution:

  • The “right to information” provision entitles victims to request and receive information about the criminal justice system, as well as services and programs available to them (e.g., restorative justice programs). They may also request certain case-specific information.
  • The “right to protection” provides victims with the right to security, privacy, and protection measures from other threats.
  • The “right to participate” provides victims the right to present victim impact statements and have them considered in court proceedings. They also have the right to express any views they may have about how decisions affect their rights.
  • The “right to restitution” allows victims to have the court consider making a restitution order, as well as entering unpaid restitution orders in civil court proceedings.
  • The bill defines a victim as “an individual who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage, or economic loss as the result of the commission of an offence.”

English: Website

Français: Website

Provides information about victims’ rights under federal law and the services available to them, and accepts victims’ complaints about any federal agency or federal legislation dealing with victims of crime.

Website

Explains civil law in BC and distinguishes it from criminal law. An offender may be held accountable in both types of courts, and victims may be entitled to supports and outcomes offered by both (e.g., suing someone civilly in addition to them being held criminally responsible).

"RJ has helped me through this offence by letting me express myself and be honest about what happened in a safe and respectful environment. The entire process has helped me progress and get through the guilt."