Sexual Offences: Interim Report

The Sexual Offences: Interim Report was tabled in Parliament on 4 June 2003 and received 56 submissions.

The report makes over 100 interim recommendations for changes to police practices, court procedures and rules of evidence to improve the experience for complainants, including:

  • allowing children to have their evidence and cross-examination pre-recorded
  • changing the test which is applied to decide whether a child is capable of giving evidence
  • allowing judges to admit children’s hearsay evidence
  • complainants in sexual assault cases to give their evidence via closed-circuit television
  • placing further restrictions on defence lawyers asking questions about a complainant’s sexual history
  • preventing accused people from personally cross-examining complainants.

Below is an outline of the chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction and Reported Sexual Offences
Chapter 2: Prosecution Outcomes
Chapter 3: Improving Police Responses
Chapter 4: Increasing the Responsiveness of the Criminal Justice System
Chapter 5: Reducing the Stress of Giving Evidence
Chapter 6: Making the System More Responsive to the Needs of Children
Chapter 7: The Offence of Rape and the Meaning of Consent
Chapter 8: Changes to Other Sexual Offences

For a copy of the report contact the Commission on (03) 8608 7800 or email

Related Project: 
Place of publication: 
Publisher : 
Victorian Law Reform Commission
Date published: 
01 Jun 2003
Number of pages: 

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