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NCJ Number: 218864 Find in a Library
Title: Victims of Terrorism Policies: Should Victims of Terrorism be Treated Differently?
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:13  Issue:1-2  Dated:2007  Pages:13-31
Author(s): Hans Jorg Albrecht; Michael Kilchling
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 19
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This article employs a theoretical victimology framework to analyze the situation for victims of terrorism and compares victim legislation.
Abstract: The analysis indicated significant differences among nations in terms of victim policies and practices. The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) have guided victim policies throughout a large part of Europe while victim policies aimed at terrorism victims were implemented in the United States and Israel decades ago. In Europe, national models of victim compensation can be divided into three main groups: (1) nations that have enacted specific legislation and programs for victims of terrorism; (2) nations that have developed crime victim compensation programs that cover terrorism victims but do not specifically mention them as a group; and (3) nations that have no or limited victim compensation programs and have not implemented compensation laws or victim support schemes. The authors argue for a principled, social welfare approach to terrorism victim compensation that is based on social solidarity rather than tort laws. In fact, it is pointed out that solidarity with victims is regularly mentioned in official statements addressing terrorism. It makes sense, they argue, to coordinate the support and assistance of victims into part of the general civil and public disaster response schemes that are in place throughout Europe. The authors further argue that the victim compensation schemes in the United States are based on the concept of punitive damages and blame. This type of approach strains social solidarity because of the inevitable problem of unequal treatment, which works against social integration. The authors also focus attention on those terrorism victims who are victimized while outside their home country and are thus not able to seek victim compensation under current victim compensation legal frameworks in their home countries. A principled, social welfare response should include compensation for these victims as well. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Victim compensation; Victims of terrorism
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Victims in foreign countries
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