NSW takes groundbreaking action on sexual assault sentencing
The NSW government is preparing to become the first state in Australia to sentence those convicted of historic crimes according to modern standards.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman told Ray Hadley current sentencing guidelines already apply to historical child sexual assaults, but other serious crimes, like sexual assault, need to brought in line.
“Victims may be traumatised, they may be stigmatised, they may not want to confront an adversarial criminal justice system.
“If the offender is brought to justice, they’re sentenced according to historical principles that might be 20, 30 years old, at times when we didn’t understand as fully as we do now the complex and lifelong trauma that serious crime, particularly sexual assault, can cause.”
Mr Speakman intends to go forward and legislate the change this year, after a consultation process with police, judiciaries, lawyers and victims’ groups.
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