Role of the media
- Participants felt that the media played an important role in helping the public understand how the Courts decide on specific cases, hence there should be great care in reporting such cases. For instance, reporters should: (i) seek to understand the facts of the case fully and how the Courts decided on a particular sentence; and (ii) be aware of how the framing of their report may inadvertently contribute to stereotypes on how the educational qualifications or social status of offenders lead to lenient sentencing.
- This is especially important considering that most members of the public would not seek out information about the case directly from the Courts, even if there is a written judgement.
- Participants agreed that the journalists should uphold a certain standard and encourage more responsible journalism. Some suggested that more could be shared about the criminal justice system with editors and journalists.
Reform to the Criminal Justice system
- Participants felt that amendments to the law to enhance protection for victims were steps in the right direction, but more could be done to increase awareness of such reforms.
- Participants felt that there was room to do more in society overall. For instance, more conversations were needed to address the root causes of offending and to support vulnerable victims who might find it difficult to come forward and report crimes committed against them.
- Participants also suggested to consider if there could be more improvements to the support system for victims not just during investigations or court proceedings but before/after, especially for the vulnerable groups.