The government said Monday it will legally guarantee the rights of people victimized by crimes to view court records and voice their feelings during hearings starting on Nov. 1, officials said.
Court officials will allow victims and the next of kin of people killed in crimes who plan to file damages suits to read and copy court records in line with three laws to protect victims’ rights and privacy that were revised or newly enacted in May and will take effect Nov. 1.
Under the new Crime Victims’ Protection law, court staff will be required to reserve courtroom seats for victims instead of allocating them by the current practice of lotteries.
Witnesses can testify in hearings for crimes such as rape or gang-related offenses from behind partitions so they are not seen by defendants or attendees in line with the revised Code of Criminal Procedure.
The new legislation will also allow courts to forcibly collect damages from defendants who agree to pay victims in court documents but renege.
The revised code allows witnesses to testify via television from outside courtrooms, but government officials said it will take some time for further discussion about required budgets and equipment.
A Justice Ministry source said the government has also been working on a regulation that would require judicial authorities to notify victims when criminals are released from prison.
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