Sex offence law overhaul

August 9, 2004

A comprehensive overhaul of Victoria's sexual offence laws, to ensure victims are treated fairly and with dignity, will be detailed in a report to be released this month.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission's sexual offences final report would recommend broad reform that was more responsive to the needs of sexual assault victims, Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls said yesterday.

Mr Hulls said the report, to be tabled in the next session of Parliament, would give "victims a voice and the confidence to speak about the unspeakable in an environment that is supportive and protective".

The commission's final recommendations would include improvements for victims of crime, from the start of their contact with the legal system, he said.

Commission recommendations included measures to make it easier for victims to give evidence by closed-circuit television and allowing children's hearsay statements to be admitted.

Another key recommendation included encouraging judicial expertise in running sexual offence trials.