Report of the royal commission on criminal justice

The draft provision in Appendix H provides for the recommended reform. Legislation to the effect of the draft provision should be introduced.

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State and territory governments other than Victoria should consider introducing legislation to establish legislative authority for course of conduct charges in relation to child sexual abuse offences if legislative authority may assist in using course of conduct charges. State and territory governments should consider providing for any of the two or more unlawful sexual acts that are particularised for the maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship offence to be particularised as courses of conduct. Grooming offences To the extent they do not already have a broad grooming offence, each state and territory government should introduce legislation to amend its criminal legislation to adopt a broad grooming offence that captures any communication or conduct with a child undertaken with the intention of grooming the child to be involved in a sexual offence.

Each state and territory government other than Victoria should introduce legislation to extend its broad grooming offence to the grooming of persons other than the child. Position of authority offences State and territory governments should review any position of authority offences applying in circumstances where the victim is 16 or 17 years of age and the offender is in a position of authority however described in relation to the victim.

State and territory governments should review any provisions allowing consent to be negatived in the event of sexual contact between a victim of 16 or 17 years of age and an offender who is in a position of authority however described in relation to the victim. If there is a concern that one or more categories of persons in a position of authority however described may be too broad and may catch sexual contact which should not be criminalised when it is engaged in by such persons with children above the age of consent, state and territory governments could consider introducing legislation to establish defences such as a similar-age consent defence.

Limitation periods and immunities State and territory governments should introduce legislation to remove any remaining limitation periods, or any remaining immunities, that apply to child sexual abuse offences, including historical child sexual abuse offences, in a manner that does not revive any sexual offences that are no longer in keeping with community standards.

Without limiting recommendation 30, the New South Wales Government should introduce legislation to give the repeal of the limitation period in section 78 of the Crimes Act NSW retrospective effect.


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Failure to report offence Moral or ethical duty to report to police Any person associated with an institution who knows or suspects that a child is being or has been sexually abused in an institutional context should report the abuse to police and, if relevant, in accordance with any guidelines the institution adopts in relation to blind reporting under recommendation Failure to report offence Each state and territory government should introduce legislation to create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context as follows: The failure to report offence should apply to any adult person who: is an owner, manager, staff member or volunteer of a relevant institution — this includes persons in religious ministry and other officers or personnel of religious institutions otherwise requires a Working with Children Check clearance for the purposes of their role in the institution but it should not apply to individual foster carers or kinship carers.

The failure to report offence should apply if the person fails to report to police in circumstances where they know, suspect, or should have suspected on the basis that a reasonable person in their circumstances would have suspected and it was criminally negligent for the person not to suspect , that an adult associated with the institution was sexually abusing or had sexually abused a child.

Relevant institutions should be defined to include institutions that operate facilities or provide services to children in circumstances where the children are in the care, supervision or control of the institution. Foster and kinship care services should be included but not individual foster carers or kinship carers.

If the knowledge is gained or the suspicion is or should have been formed after the failure to report offence commences, the failure to report offence should apply if any of the following circumstances apply: A child to whom the knowledge relates or in relation to whom the suspicion is or should have been formed is still a child that is, under the age of 18 years.

The person who is known to have abused a child or is or should have been suspected of abusing a child is either: still associated with the institution known or believed to be associated with another relevant institution. The knowledge gained or the suspicion that is or should have been formed relates to abuse that may have occurred within the previous 10 years. If the knowledge is gained or the suspicion is or should have been formed before the failure to report offence commences, the failure to report offence should apply if any of the following circumstances apply: A child to whom the knowledge relates or in relation to whom the suspicion is or should have been formed is still a child that is, under the age of 18 years and is still associated with the institution that is, they are still in the care, supervision or control of the institution.

Interaction with regulatory reporting State and territory governments should: ensure that they have systems in place in relation to their mandatory reporting scheme and any reportable conduct scheme to ensure that any reports made under those schemes that may involve child sexual abuse offences are brought to the attention of police include appropriate defences in the failure to report offence to avoid duplication of reporting under mandatory reporting and any reportable conduct schemes. The legislation should exclude any existing excuse, protection or privilege in relation to religious confessions to the extent necessary to achieve this objective.

Failure to protect offence State and territory governments should introduce legislation to create a criminal offence of failure to protect a child within a relevant institution from a substantial risk of sexual abuse by an adult associated with the institution as follows: The offence should apply where: an adult person knows that there is a substantial risk that another adult person associated with the institution will commit a sexual offence against: a child under 16 a child of 16 or 17 years of age if the person associated with the institution is in a position of authority in relation to the child the person has the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk the person negligently fails to reduce or remove the risk.

The offence should not be able to be committed by individual foster carers or kinship carers. Foster care and kinship care services should be included, but individual foster carers and kinship carers should not be included.

Facilities and services provided by religious institutions, and any service or functions performed by persons in religious ministry, should be included. State and territory governments should consider the Victorian offence in section 49C of the Crimes Act Vic as a useful precedent, with an extension to include children of 16 or 17 years of age if the person associated with the institution is in a position of authority in relation to the child.

Issues in prosecution responses Principles for prosecution responses All Australian Directors of Public Prosecutions, with assistance from the relevant government in relation to funding, should ensure that prosecution responses to child sexual abuse are guided by the following principles: All prosecution staff who may have professional contact with victims of institutional child sexual abuse should be trained to have a basic understanding of the nature and impact of child sexual abuse — and institutional child sexual abuse in particular — and how it can affect people who are involved in a prosecution process, including those who may have difficulties dealing with institutions or person in positions of authority.

While recognising the complexity of prosecution staffing and court timetables, prosecution agencies should recognise the benefit to victims and their families and survivors of continuity in prosecution team staffing and should take steps to facilitate, to the extent possible, continuity in staffing of the prosecution team involved in a prosecution.

Prosecution agencies should continue to recognise the importance to victims and their families and survivors of the prosecution agency maintaining regular communication with them to keep them informed of the status of the prosecution unless they have asked not to be kept informed.

Witness Assistance Services should be funded and staffed to ensure that they can perform their task of keeping victims and their families and survivors informed and ensuring that they are put in contact with relevant support services, including staff trained to provide a culturally appropriate service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors.

Specialist services for children should also be considered. Particularly in relation to historical allegations of institutional child sexual abuse, prosecution staff who are involved in giving early charge advice or in prosecuting child sexual abuse matters should be trained to: be non-judgmental and recognise that many victims of child sexual abuse will go on to develop substance abuse and mental health problems, and some may have a criminal record focus on the credibility of the complaint or allegation rather than focusing only on the credibility of the complainant.

Prosecution agencies should recognise that children with disability are at a significantly increased risk of abuse, including child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants: progress report July | APO

Prosecutors should take this increased risk into account in any decisions they make in relation to prosecuting child sexual abuse offences. Each state and territory government should facilitate the development of standard material to provide to complainants or other witnesses in child sexual abuse trials to better inform them about giving evidence.

The development of the standard material should be led by Directors of Public Prosecutions in consultation with Witness Assistance Services, public defenders where available , legal aid services and representatives of the courts to ensure that it: is likely to be of adequate assistance for complainants who are not familiar with criminal trials and giving evidence is fair to the accused as well as to the prosecution does not risk rehearsing or coaching the witness.

Charging and plea decisions All Australian Directors of Public Prosecutions should ensure that prosecution charging and plea decisions in prosecutions for child sexual abuse offences are guided by the following principles: Prosecutors should recognise the importance to complainants of the correct charges being laid as early as possible so that charges are not significantly downgraded or withdrawn at or close to trial.

Prosecutors should provide early advice to police on appropriate charges to lay when such advice is sought. Regardless of whether such advice has been sought, prosecutors should confirm the appropriateness of the charges as early as possible once they are allocated the prosecution to ensure that the correct charges have been laid and to minimise the risk that charges will have to be downgraded or withdrawn closer to the trial date.

While recognising the benefit of securing guilty pleas, prosecution agencies should also recognise that it is important to complainants — and to the criminal justice system — that the charges for which a guilty plea is accepted reasonably reflect the true criminality of the abuse they suffered. Prosecutors must endeavour to ensure that they allow adequate time to consult the complainant and the police in relation to any proposal to downgrade or withdraw charges or to accept a negotiated plea and that the complainant is given the opportunity to obtain assistance from relevant witness assistance officers or other advocacy and support services before they give their opinion on the proposal.

DPP complaints and oversight mechanisms Each Australian Director of Public Prosecutions should: have comprehensive written policies for decision-making and consultation with victims and police publish all policies online and ensure that they are publicly available provide a right for complainants to seek written reasons for key decisions, without detracting from an opportunity to discuss reasons in person before written reasons are provided.

These principles prioritise keeping children and young people safe and protected from harm, and advocating the importance of the rights of children and young people.

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Find out what we mean by accept , accept in principle , for further consideration and noted. This report was delivered by the Royal Commission in December , containing recommendations. The ACT has sorted the recommendations from this report into four themes: making institutions child safe , an oversight system that responds to child safety , services for children and young people and tailored support through specialist services.

This report was delivered by the Royal Commission in , containing 36 recommendations. This report was delivered by the Royal Commission in , containing 99 recommendations. Sustaining and improving outcomes for vulnerable children and their families. Births, deaths and marriages External link.


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