Friday, April 16, 2021

New KE Initiative: HKU "Species Victim Impact Statement (SVIS) Initiative" (Amanda Whitfort)

HKU "Species Victim Impact Statement (SVIS) Initiative" : giving wildlife a voice in courts

What are Species Victim Impact Statements?
Species Impact Victim Statements (SVIS) explain to lawyers and judges the harm that wildlife crime has done to individual animals, species and ecosystems.​
      A human victim of crime can make a victim impact statement alerting the court to the harm suffered as a result of the crime.
      Non-human victims of wildlife crime have no similar voice in court. In the absence of training in ecology and conservation science, it is difficult for prosecutors and judges to assess the impact of wildlife crime.
Where harms are underestimated, defendants receive inadequate sentences that do not effectively deter wildlife offending.
     Species Victim Impact Statements help to ensure informed sentences for wildlife crimes.

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