The role of the criminal investigation process is to balance the rights of the victims and offenders in society. All individuals’ wether victim, offender or member of society have basic rights to which the law attempts to adhere to. While all are individual, the rights will differ for the purpose of maintaining a balance in society. Though upholding the rights of the people is essential in order to ensure that the investigation process is conducted correctly and without abuse.
In a criminal investigation case, a victim is usually seeking justice for an offence against them personally. Victims can be involved in the criminal trial in a number of ways, from reporting a crime and assisting police in testifying at a trial as a witness impact statement. However in certain cases a victim can be of significant value in the criminal investigation process as they may be the only witness to the crime. The victim also has the right to maintain their dignity and to be protected from the accused as they may have access to certain information that may be otherwise confidential. The victims’ rights are outlined in the victims’ rights act 1996. Victims also have to right to a victim impact statement, being a voluntary statement written by the victim about the impact of the crime had on them. Although this is only allowed in serious offences and to ensure fairness in particular highly sensitive cases the judge may not allow a victim impact statement, on the grounds to assuring that the emotional content does not persuade the jury and result in a bias verdict. (Case)
In NSW, crimes will be investigated by the NSW police force, as they play an important role in the criminal investigation process. The police force is given special legal powers enabling them to carry out their duties effectively. The majority of these powers are found