Improving access to justice for older victims of crime by reimagining conceptions of vulnerability

Kevin J. Brown*, Faith Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article investigates the implications of recent research findings that establish that older victims of crime are less likely to obtain procedural justice than other age groups. It explores original empirical data from the United Kingdom that finds evidence of a systemic failure amongst agencies to identify vulnerability in the older population and to put in place appropriate support mechanisms to allow older victims to participate fully in the justice system. The article discusses how the legally defined gateways to additional support, which are currently relied upon by many common law jurisdictions, disadvantage older victims and require reimagining. It argues that international protocols, especially the current European Union Directive on victims' rights, are valuable guides in this process of re-conceptualisation. To reduce further the inequitable treatment of older victims, the article advocates for jurisdictions to introduce a presumption in favour of special assistance for older people participating in the justice system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)614-631
    Number of pages18
    JournalAgeing and Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2022


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