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RSNL1990 CHAPTER V-5
VICTIMS OF CRIME SERVICES ACT
2005 c24; 2009 c35 s1; 2016 c33
AN ACT RESPECTING SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
1. This Act may be cited as the Victims of Crime Services Act.
2. In this Act
(a) "court" includes the provincial court established under the Provincial Court Act, 1991 , the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal;
"victim" means a person who has suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering or economic loss, because of acts that are a violation of criminal laws; and
(c) "victim fine surcharge" includes a victim fine surcharge imposed under subsection 11.1(1) and under section 737 of the Criminal Code .
Declaration of principles
3. (1) Victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and with respect for their dignity and privacy.
(2) Victims should suffer the minimum of necessary inconvenience from their involvement with the criminal justice system.
(3) Victims should receive prompt and fair redress for the harm which they have suffered.
4. (1) The hardships created by an offence against the laws of society should be shared by society as a whole, and victims should be helped in addressing their particular needs and concerns.
(2) When a person breaks the law that person shows a disregard for those who may be harmed and that person owes a debt to society generally and to victims, whether or not the offence has affected a specific, identified victim.
Access to services
5. It is recognized that victims, their dependants, guardians and spouses should have access to social, legal, medical and mental health services that respond to their needs.
Safety of victims
6. Where necessary, measures should be taken to ensure the safety of victims, their dependants, guardians and spouses and to protect them from intimidation and retaliation.
7. (1) Information about services, remedies and the mechanisms to obtain remedies should be made available to victims.
(2) Information should be made available to a victim about
(a) the scope, nature, timing, and progress of the prosecution of the offence in which he or she was the victim;
(b) the role of the victim and of other persons involved in the prosecution of the offence;
(c) court procedures; and
(d) crime prevention.
8. (1) Where appropriate, victims should be encouraged to participate in mediation, conciliation and informal reconciliation procedures to resolve disputes and determine financial or other redress.
(2) Where stolen property is recovered, it should be returned to the victim as soon as possible.
(3) Before making decisions in a matter that is before them, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and judges should consider the particular needs and concerns of the victim, including
(a) the need to receive fair restitution for the offence; and
(b) the need for prompt disposition of prosecutions and prompt execution of judgments, orders and decisions granting restitution, compensation or other redress.
Obligation of victim
9. (1) Victims should report crimes and co-operate with law enforcement authorities.
(2) The views and concerns of victims should be ascertained and appropriate help should be provided to them throughout the criminal process.
Training for personnel
10. Enhanced training should be made available to criminal justice personnel about the needs and concerns of victims.
1988 c56 s10
Victims of Crime Services Division
11. (1) The division known as the Victims of Crime Services Division is continued.
(2) The Victims of Crime Services Division shall form part of the Department of Justice or other department that may be designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
Victim fine surcharge
11.1 (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under an Act of the province and a fine is imposed as a penalty for that conviction, that person shall, in addition to the fine, pay a victim fine surcharge that is 30% of the fine imposed on that person.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a conviction and penalty imposed
(a) for a parking offence;
(b) under a regulation or by-law of a city as defined in the City of Corner Brook Act , City of Mount Pearl Act , City of St. John’s Act or of a municipality as defined in the Municipalities Act, 1999 ; and
under an enactment prescribed by regulation as being exempt.
(3) Where a person referred to in subsection (1) establishes, to the satisfaction of the court imposing the penalty or entering the conviction, that undue hardship to that person or the dependants of that person would result from the imposition of a victim fine surcharge, the court may, by order and stating reasons, exempt that person from the surcharge or part of that surcharge.
(4) The victim fine surcharge imposed under subsection (1) as a result of a conviction for an offence shall be paid at the time at which the fine imposed for that offence is payable and may be collected in the same manner as that fine.
(5) For the purpose of the Provincial Offences Act and section 16.1 of the Highway Traffic Act the victim fine surcharge imposed under subsection (1) is considered to be a fine.
Victim fine surcharge proceeds
12. Proceeds resulting from a victim fine surcharge shall be used for the purposes of this Act.
13. This Act does not create a civil cause of action, right to damages or a right of appeal on behalf of a person.
14. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations:
(a) prescribing how a victim fine surcharge imposed under federal legislation shall be used;
(b) prescribing how a victim fine surcharge imposed under section 11.1 shall be used;
(c) exempting a person or a class of persons from the application of section 11.1;
(d) prescribing anything required by this Act to be prescribed;
(e) prescribing guidelines for the training of criminal justice personnel in connection with the needs and concerns of victims; and
(f) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
Peace officers to provide information
15. (1) A peace officer shall provide to the Victims of Crime Services Division the information in his or her possession about a victim that the minister may require by regulation.
(2) The information referred to in subsection (1) shall be provided in the form and the detail required by the regulations.
(3) In this section "peace officer" means
(a) a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary; or
(b) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stationed in the province.