Report

Warnings in sexual offences cases relating to delay in complaint

18 Apr 2007
Description

This report makes three recommendations that will change the warnings/directions that trial judges are permitted to give to juries in sexual offences cases about victims' delay in making complaint. The main common law directions/warnings to be given in sexual offences trials that relate to delay in complaint fall into two distinct categories:

2) The Crofts direction which requires the trial judge to give a 'balancing direction' to the direction required by s 371A Criminal Code (Tas) that delayed complaint does not indicate that the complainant had fabricated the allegations. The Crofts direction requires the trial judge to inform the jury that delay in complaining may affect the credibility of the complainant’s account.

The Report also recommends that trial judges should be expressly prohibited from giving a Crofts direction.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2007
6
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