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Reading: EU’s ‘Victims’ Directive’ – a legal act for a cultural change?


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EU’s ‘Victims’ Directive’ – a legal act for a cultural change?


Bernt Bahr ,

Nedre Romerike District Court, NO
About Bernt
Bernt Bahr (date of birth 31 July 1953) is Chief Judge and Court President at Nedre Romerike District Court. Bahr has work experience from the police and prosecuting authority, has served as a prison governor and worked several years in the Ministry of Justice. Bahr was appointed judge in 1997, and has served in this capacity since. He has also served for a period as a Witness Support Coordinator in the Witness Service in Norwegian courts, and has been involved in several projects to strengthen the justice and court sector abroad.
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Jenny Ellen Melum

Norwegian Courts Administration, NO
About Jenny
Jenny Melum (date of birth 6 April 1971) is a Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Courts Administration. She serves as a manager of the Witness Service in Norwegian courts and works with service development in the courts. The user perspective is a key focus in the work carried out by her unit. She has previously held administrative positions in various fields and has experience from several service companies in the private sector. She has experience in international work on the safeguarding of witnesses.
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The article looks at safeguarding points in Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and if and how some European countries have implemented the Directive. The article discusses what might be success factors to fulfil the Directive’s safeguarding intentions in the light of securing access to justice. We observe that focus on and measures for the victim often lead to a new conscience about the needs of all witnesses. The article addresses the need for cultural changes in the judicial system in order to fulfil the Directive’s intentions, and what might be a drive to such changes.
How to Cite: Bahr, B. and Melum, J.E., 2017. EU’s ‘Victims’ Directive’ – a legal act for a cultural change?. International Journal for Court Administration, 9(1), pp.16–20. DOI:
Published on 27 Dec 2017.


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