The Royal Commission published its final recommendations on Criminal Justice on 14 August 2017.

On this page you can find information about the Criminal Justice report and the Royal Commission's wider body of work on Criminal Justice including four fact sheets published with the report.



The Royal Commission's examination of the criminal justice system in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions included:

  • police investigation of allegations of institutional child sexual abuse
  • decision making processes regarding the prosecution of institutional child sexual abuse matters
  • evidence given by complainants
  • joint and separate trials with multiple allegations of institutional child sexual abuse
  • sentencing of offenders convicted of child sexual abuse occurring in institutional contexts

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference require us to examine what institutions and governments should do to address the impacts of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. This includes ensuring justice for victims through the processes for referral for investigation and prosecution.


Model Bill

Consultation on Model Bill to amend evidence laws

The Royal Commission released model legislation to amend evidence laws on 25 November 2016. The Model Bill aims to allow for greater admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence and facilitate more joint trials.

The Model Bill provides a specific example of possible amendments to evidence laws. It is based in part on laws in England and Wales that allow for much greater admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence and for more joint trials.

The Model Bill has been drafted by the New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel’s Office, on instructions of Royal Commission staff, for the purposes of consultation.

A number of lawyers who were witnesses in Case Study 46 were asked to give their opinions about the draft legislation.

The Royal Commission also invited any interested person to provide comments on the Model Bill. View submissions.



Consultation paper

The Royal Commission released a consultation paper on criminal justice issues on 5 September 2016 seeking input on various issues raised which will be used to inform our final report on criminal justice issues. View submissions.

A number of submissions commented on the Jury Reasoning Research. The Royal Commission requested that the researchers respond to the comments. View request and response.



Public Hearing

The Royal Commission held a public hearing in March 2016, which inquired into criminal justice issues relating to child sexual abuse in an institutional context.
 

Roundtables

The Royal Commission is holding a series of public and private roundtables with invited participants to discuss a range of criminal justice issues.

In February 2016, a series of private roundtables were held with invited participants from: police; public prosecutors; public defenders and Legal Aid services; and criminal justice policy agencies. Public and private roundtables were also held in April and June 2016. Another roundtable was held in March 2017.

Public Roundtables

Memory of childhood sexual abuse and the law
A roundtable was held on Friday 31 March in Sydney to discuss issues in relation to the memory of child sexual abuse and the law.

Multi-disciplinary and specialist policing responses
A roundtable was held on Wednesday 15 June in Sydney to discuss multi-disciplinary and specialist policing responses.

DPP complaints and oversight mechanisms
A roundtable was held on Friday 29 April in Sydney to discuss DPP complaints and oversight mechanisms.

Adult sex offender treatment programs
A roundtable was held on Thursday 21 April in Sydney to discuss adult sex offender treatment programs.

Reporting offences
A roundtable was held on Wednesday 20 April in Sydney to discuss reporting offences.
 



Research

Research projects commissioned to date explore a number of criminal justice issues.

Published research:

Other Publications


Jury Research

In May 2016 the Royal Commission launched the report of a major empirical study into how juries reason when deliberating on multiple counts of child sexual abuse. Using mock juries and a trial involving charges of child sexual abuse in an institutional context, Jury Reasoning in Joint and Separate Trials of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Study investigates whether conducting joint trials and admitting tendency evidence infringe on a defendant's right to a fair trial. 



Listen to the launch event in full


Watch the full length video of the launch

Video Accessibility link - click then press Tab key.

Video Accessibility link - press Shift Tab key to go back

Javascript must be turned on for audio and video to work on this website.

 

Speeches

Criminal justice issues have been addressed in the following speeches by Royal Commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan:

2017 ODPP Victims' Voices Conference: Making Stronger Connections

2 August 2017: A Royal Commission is the most significant method of inquiry available to governments. It may investigate individual and institutional conduct. It is often used to determine whether criminal conduct may have been committed.

Legal Aid NSW Criminal Law Conference

2 June 2016: A Royal Commission is the most significant method of inquiry available to governments. It may investigate individual and institutional conduct. It is often used to determine whether criminal conduct may have been committed.

Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials

25 May 2016: Early in our work we identified Criminal Justice as a key issue for consideration by the Royal Commission.

Professional knowledge and judicial understanding

31 March 2015: Justice for victims is an elusive concept. In the civil context redress schemes providing modest money compensation without the need to prove a breach of a duty of care are commonly believed to be appropriate.

14th International Criminal Law Congress 2014

9 October 2014: In 1984, John (not his real name), an 11 year old boy, started as a Year 7 boarder at a prestigious Sydney school.