Submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Friday, 4 November 2016

We recently made a submission in response to the Consultation Paper on Criminal Justice released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Our submission will help inform the commission’s final report on criminal justice issues.

In it we look at blind reporting, third-party offences, delays in prosecutions, evidence of victims and survivors, tendency and coincidence evidence, appeals and post-sentencing issues. 

We support reforms that are likely to improve criminal justice responses to child sexual abuse and protect the community from sexual offending to ensure that victims receive justice and are not further traumatised by their experience within the criminal justice system. However, this must be appropriately balanced against the need for an accused person to receive a fair hearing without undue prejudice in accordance with Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. It is vital in a community that believes in fairness and the rule of law that all people have access to a just process where significant sanctions are at stake.

As the largest defence practice in Victoria, we represent a significant number of people charged with sexual offences, many of whom themselves have been victims of sexual and other offending. We regard the proper representation of criminal accused in trial and appeal processes as an important safeguard for victims as well as for offenders.

Read our submission

Read our Submission to the Royal Commission’s Consultation Paper on Criminal Justice (docx, 207.09 KB).

About the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission released a Consultation Paper on 5 September 2016 which examined the criminal justice system in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.

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