There have been worrying moves over recent years to reduce the justice system to a means for victims to exact vengeance on perpetrators.

Victims have been given more input to the whole trial process.

There have been positive outcomes in terms of the practices of restorative justice, though this usually comes after the trial process has completed.

It can bring victim and perpetrator together in the same room. Each is then able to tell their story, see the hurt caused and give the victim some understanding of why the perpetrator committed the crime.

The process has proved beneficial to both sides, bringing healing and rehabilitation.

What is more alarming are the expressions of vengeance by some victims through the media, after the trial: a family declaring the sentence was not long enough or the offence should have been different.

Campaigns may then follow to change the law or create new law.

No doubt the courts do get things wrong and the law often does need to be changed. There are of course also miscarriages of justice.

Some media outlets, though, stoke the process promoting certain campaigns to change the law.

There is an argument for victims being kept totally separate from the trial process. They are subjective not objective. Some understandably want vengeance, but that is not what the justice system is there for.

It is difficult to understand how imposing more suffering on another party eases the sense of loss of the relatives of the victim - it does not bring their loved one back. Sadly, nothing can.

A situation where a populist campaign could result in heavier sentences for the perpetrators is not that far from lynch mob justice. What happens when we get an horrendous murder and the victims family call for the death penalty to be restored on the back of it?

Right wing newspapers might take up the call and before you know it society has regressed to killing its own citizens. It is a slippery slope.

There is definitely a role for victims in the justice system but that process must not be turned into one of simple vengeance.

The punishment is denial of liberty, according to law, not dependent on the subjective view of one party as to what the sentence should be in order to satisfy their own sense of loss and desire for vengeance.