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Victims' rights - by country

England and Wales

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England and Wales

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

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, if you wish, you will be told about the outcome and any sentence imposed by 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 contact the Attorney General who has the right to appeal to the Court of Appeal, if he considers that the sentence was unduly lenient.

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

If you are the victim of a sexual or violent offence for which the offender receives a sentence of 12 months or more, or is detained in secure hospital for treatment, you will be eligible to opt in to the Probation Victim Contact Scheme (VCS). The purpose of the VCS is to provide eligible victims with information and advice about the criminal justice process by a designated Victim Liaison Officer. You will be entitled to make representations about the licence conditions or other conditions that can be attached to the offender’s release. In addition, you will be kept informed of key stages of the offender’s sentence, at the discretion of the probation body.

Your participation in the scheme is completely voluntary and you can opt out at any time if you change your mind.

More information:

  • Section 35 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 – in English
  • Code of Practice for Victims of Crime - in English
Last update: 21/09/2017

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