Advocates for Victims of Homicide (AdVIC), which campaigns for the rights of families and friends of victims of homicide, identified the need for a State-appointed Victim Liaison Officer Programme that would support families through the criminal justice process.
PILA set up a Law Reform Working Group to collaborate on the campaign – later joined by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) and Support After Homicide (SAH). The Working Group produced a draft Victims of Crime Bill that was presented to the Department of Justice, and then shifted focus to consider developments in EU victims’ rights and the Irish implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive.
In November 2013, AdVIC, DRCC and SAH were joined by 12 other organisations in establishing the Victims’ Rights Alliance (VRA) – coordinated by Maria McDonald BL, a PILA pro bono barrister. The VRA campaigned for timely and effective implementation of the Directive, and continues to work with the Department of Justice on the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill 2015.