Sexual offences: law and procedure discussion paper
This discussion paper concerns both of substantive law of sexual offences in Victoria and the laws of procedure and evidence. The substantive law defines what are sexual offences and includes legislation and case law. Evidence and procedure laws govern the evidence which can be given in criminal trials and how trials are conducted. This Discussion Paper represents the first formal consultation document to be issued as part of the project. However, since receiving the reference from the Scottish Ministers, we have been engaged in consultation and discussion. One method of doing this has been through participation in seminars. In October 2004 and April 2005, team members attended seminars which were organised by Rape Crisis Scotland, and at which Professor Maher presented papers exploring the work of the project. In addition, an Advisory Group was set up to aid us in our consideration of the law. The Group consists of members from various backgrounds whose expertise has been of great assistance in highlighting to us the important issues arising from the project, and in ensuring that these issues were taken into consideration in forming our proposals.2 The Advisory Group's contribution has been invaluable in shaping the direction of the project and we wish to express our thanks to Group members for giving so much of their time to consult with us. We have also sought specific expert advice as necessary. For example, Dr John Crichton of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Dr Raj Darjee of the State Hospital Carstairs have contributed their expertise in forensic psychiatry and the treatment of sex offenders. We have also held discussions with officials at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
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