NSW Government takes steps to improve justice outcomes for victim-survivors of child sexual assault
The NSW Government acknowledges community concern about the use of good character as a mitigating factor in sentencing for some child sexual offences and the impact on victim-survivors.
The NSW Attorney General has asked the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to commence a review into s 21A(5A) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and the use of evidence of good character in child sexual offence matters.
In conducting the review, DCJ will consult victim-survivors and victim-survivor advocacy groups, along with legal stakeholders, on options for reform to improve the experiences and outcomes for victim-survivors.
An options paper will be distributed to targeted stakeholders in August 2023, with a view to progressing any legislative reform by November 2023.
NSW Attorney General Michael Daley said:
“The NSW Government is open to hearing the views of victim-survivors about how legislation impacts upon them, and we are committed to facilitating the best possible experience for victim-survivors in the criminal justice system.
“By conducting careful consultation with victim-survivors and legal experts, the NSW Government aims to achieve a legal outcome that will provide long-term benefits to the community as a whole.”
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Jodie Harrison said:
“The NSW Government looks forward to working closely with victim-survivors to improve their experience in the justice system, and hearing about the experiences of victim-survivors in the context of this important issue.
“The NSW Government acknowledges the hard work of advocates to raise awareness of this matter.”