If you are granted the official status of a victim, you have the right to participate in criminal proceedings. You can exercise these rights yourself or through a representative.

Your rights

With the official status of a victim, you or your representative have the right to:

  • participate in the court hearings
  • participate in the examination of the evidence
  • file complaints and submissions
  • express your opinion at all stages of criminal proceedings
  • receive the judgement and the protocols from the hearings
  • appeal the judgement


Your representative in criminal proceedings can be any person who you authorise to represent you and to make sure your rights in the proceedings are observed. This person does not have to be a lawyer.

important If you are a minor you will need a legal representative to participate in criminal proceedings. If you don’t have a representative or your representative cannot help you to fully participate in the proceedings, the court may grant you a lawyer to represent you during the proceedings. 

If you are a minor, your representative may be:

  • your parents, grandparents or legal guardian
  • adult brother/sister if you are permanently living with them and they are taking care of you
  • a representative from an orphans’ court
  • a non-governmental organization specializing in the protection of children’s rights

If a court has established legal guardianship for you due to a mental disability or for other reasons, these persons or the legal guardian can also represent you in the criminal proceedings.


Last updated 23/03/2016