Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process

Project Status:

Tabled in parliament

Start Date:

27/10/2014

Tabled in Parliament Date:

22/11/2016

Reference

In this review, the Commission considered the role of victims of crime in criminal trials. We looked at what changes to the law and court proceedings might better accommodate victims’ rights, expectations and needs.

As well as receiving 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 Commission published a report recommending that the rights of victims of crime should be strengthened.  The Role of Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process report was delivered on 1 September 2016 and tabled in Parliament on 22 November 2016. We made 51 recommendations to improve the law for victims of crime.

Key recommendations: victims of crime in criminal trials

The report recommends amending Victoria’s Human Rights Charter to give victims of crime in criminal trials the right to be acknowledged, treated with respect, and protected from unnecessary trauma. If enacted, Victoria would be the first state in Australia to do this.

The Victims Charter would also be amended to recognise that victims have an inherent interest in the criminal trial process.

The report states that victims of crime should be defined as participants in the trial process, though they should not be able to call witnesses or cross-examine the defendant.

In total, the report contains 51 recommendations to give victims adequate information and support, more opportunities to participate, and protection from trauma and intimidation during the trial.

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.

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Project Stage

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

Publications

Publication Date

22/11/2016

The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report on the role of victims of crime in the criminal trial process was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 22 November 2016. The victim’s role has evolved over the past three decades and the report takes an evolutionary approach in proposing further reform. The…
Publication Date

22/11/2016

The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report on the role of victims of crime in the criminal trial process was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 22 November 2016. The victim’s role has evolved over the past three decades and the report takes an evolutionary approach in proposing further reform. The… Read more
Publication Date

22/11/2016

The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report on the role of victims of crime in the criminal trial process was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 22 November 2016. The victim’s role has evolved over the past three decades and the report takes an evolutionary approach in proposing further reform. The… Read more
Publication Date

01/12/2015

The Commission received these submissions. Read more