The Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Bill 2020 was introduced in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in October 2020.
Although the Bill amends a number of Acts, this Bill Brief looks exclusively at the provisions relating to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act, namely the ability of victim-survivors of sexual offences to self-publish their experiences, to give permission for their identities to be published in the media, or for families to do so following a victim’s death. This is due to the considerable interest in this issue within the community and the media, and in recognition that sexual assault and family violence present a significant health and welfare problem in Australia.
The brief contains several sections. First, it provides the contextual background to the Bill’s introduction, including a timeline of recent reports, legislation and events. Next, it considers the Bill itself and the provisions relating to victims of sexual offences and the ability to publish their identities. It then discusses stakeholder responses to the Bill, and concludes with a comparison of the relevant legislation in Australian jurisdictions.