Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process
Tabled in Parliament Date:
Victims of crime have a great deal at stake in the criminal trial process, and perhaps they have not received the support their special interests deserve. In recent years, their treatment by the criminal justice system has come under community scrutiny, with calls to better acknowledge, respect, support and protect them becoming louder and more urgent.
In October 2014, the Attorney-General asked the Commission to report and review on the role of victims in the criminal trial process. In this review, the Commission considered what role the victim ought to play in trials and what changes to the law and court proceedings might better accommodate their rights, expectations and sensitivities.
To clarify the problem, the Commission published four information papers on relevant aspects of the inquiry: History, Concepts and Theory; Who are the Victims of Crime and What are their Criminal Justice Needs and Experiences?; The International Criminal Court: A Case Study of Victim Participation in the Adversarial Trial Process; and Victims’ Rights and Human Rights.
In August 2015, after extensive research and preliminary consultations, the Commission published a consultation paper that described current law and practice, surveyed alternative approaches from other jurisdictions, and listed options for reform. It also posed questions to guide consultations and invited written public submissions.
As well as 43 written submissions, the commission consulted widely with victims and their families, lawyers, judicial officers, academics and key stakeholder groups. It held meetings in regional Victorian towns, conducted many individual interviews and organised 17 roundtable discussions.
The report, delivered on 1 September 2016 and tabled in Parliament on 22 November, made 51 recommendations.
The report and other documents can be downloaded from the links below.
NB: Hard copies of this report are no longer available. The report is only available via download.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament