Sexual Offences (2004 inquiry)

Project Status:

Tabled in parliament

Start Date:


Tabled in Parliament Date:



Although generally accepted as being among the most traumatic crimes for its victims, sexual offences are among the most under-reported. The prospect of a long, harrowing and adversarial trial process deter many victims from pressing their case.

In 2001, the Commission was asked to consider whether the criminal justice system was sufficiently responsive to the needs of complainants in sexual offence cases and to recommend changes if necessary. The review aimed to encouraged more victims to report offences to police and see the case through to trial.

Publishing a discussion paper in December 2001, the Commission laid out the ground for their inquiry and asked for submissions. Initially, 75 submissions were received from a range of concerned individuals and organisations. Following an interim report in June 2003 seeking responses to 107 recommendations for legislative, administrative and procedural changes, the Commission received a further 55 submissions.

Along with widespread consultations with legal, policing, administrative, government organisations, the submissions contributed to the formulation of 201 recommendations in the final report, whose stated purpose was to improve the treatment of victims of sexual offences while ensuring the accused continued to receive a fair trial.

The final report was tabled in Parliament on 25 August 2004.

To find out how the law changed, visit the Implementation page.

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Project Stage

  • Terms of reference received
  • Submissions and consultations
  • Submissions closed
  • Final Report
  • Tabled in parliament