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<b>LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY</b> - Signing ePetition

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY - Signing ePetition - Child sexual offence evidence pilot scheme to be made permanent law in NSW

To sign the ePetition, confirm you are a resident of New South Wales and enter your title, first name and last name. Once you click ‘submit’ you will have signed the ePetition and will be re-directed to the Legislative Assembly’s ‘ePetitions open for signature’ page

Child sexual offence evidence pilot scheme to be made permanent law in NSW

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, We the Petitioners believe that contemporary child sexual offence evidence processes must be an integral part of our legal and courts system when investigating or deliberating on matters of child sexual offences. Everything that we are reading, added to our lived experience, indicates that child sexual assault victims in NSW, particularly those in regional areas, are being subjected to re-traumatising by the legal system and made worse by delays. Child sexual offence evidence processes were introduced in NSW under a pilot scheme, commencing on the 31st of March 2016 in Newcastle and the Downing Centre, Sydney. The pilot introduced measures to reduce the stress and difficulties placed on child victims and child witnesses without unfairly damaging the right to a fair trial for the defendant. Measures include an expansion of the use of pre-recorded evidence given by child victims; the use of witness intermediaries called 'Children’s Champions'; and procedures to allow for appointment of District Court judges trained in management of child sexual assault matters. On 14 April 2022 the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot Scheme was extended by Regulation to 30 June 2024, again only in Newcastle and the Downing Centre, Sydney. Six years have elapsed since the pilot scheme commenced. We the Petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to make this Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot Scheme permanent law in the whole of NSW.

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