Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Victoria Law Reform Commission Report on Improving the Justice System Response to Sexual Offences

Last week, the Law Reform Commission in the Australian state of Victoria released its report on Improving the Justice System Response to Sexual Offences

The report makes numerous recommendations. 

Some of the key ones are that:

  • The state should assist victim survivors to take civil action against those who assaulted them.
  • It should be easier for victim survivors to get financial assistance and acknowledgement of what happened to them.
  • A ‘victim advocate’ should walk with victims on their path through the justice system, providing counselling, emotional support, advice and advocacy.
  • A Commission for Sexual Safety should be established in Victoria to provide leadership, raise public awareness, and deliver reforms across the whole system.
  • Everyone who works on sexual offence matters, including judges, magistrates and barristers, should be specialists.
  • Juries need to be given better directions, and more expert evidence, so they do not fall for myths about sexual offending.
  • There should be an enforceable duty on employers and others, such as universities, to eliminate sexual violence and harassment.
  • The law should require a person to take steps to find out if there is sexual consent.
  • The law needs stronger laws on stealthing and image-based abuse.
  • There should be a central gateway to information and support for people who want to report sexual offending.
  • People should be able to report sexual offending confidentially online.

The state of Victoria is in south-eastern Australia and its capital is Melbourne. The report was delivered to the Attorney-General of Victoria in September and was published on November 12, 2021.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:52 pm


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