Conceptualising our understanding of vulnerability across attributes

Faith Gordon

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review


Vulnerability is a contested concept (Walklate, 2011).
The definition of ‘vulnerability’ most commonly relied
upon in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland
is that found in the legislation governing the use of
special measures in court (1999 Order Art 4). It is the
same as the definition used in England and Wales
(Ministry of Justice, 2015). The definition relies on a
conceptual understanding of vulnerability as being
based on mental and physical characteristics rather than
the risk of victimisation or the risk of harm caused by
victimisation. This fails to take into consideration factors
that may be impacting on the resilience of a victim,
such as the nature of the crime; a lack of support
network; or mental or physical ill-health that does not
reach the threshold of that outlined in the legislation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Tasmania
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationHobart Tasmania Australia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameTILES Institute Briefing Papers

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