Public hearing into Criminal justice issues

Public hearing into Criminal justice issues

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing on Tuesday 15 March 2016 at 10.00am AEDT.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse in an institutional context in the criminal justice system as complainants against an accused who was the subject of allegations by more than one complainant.

2. The admissibility and use of evidence variously described as:

   a. tendency and coincidence evidence
   b. propensity and similar fact evidence
   c. evidence of discreditable conduct, and
   d. evidence of bad character,

and the law and practice concerning when charges in relation to multiple complainants of child sexual  abuse in an institutional context against a single accused may be tried together in a joint trial.

3. The experiences of survivors, particularly young children and people with disability, in reporting child sexual abuse in an institutional context to police and in being complainants in prosecutions. 

4. How the requirements of the criminal justice system, including in relation to oral evidence and cross examination, affect the investigation and prosecution of allegations of child sexual abuse in an institutional context, particularly where the complainant is a young child or a person with disability.

5. Any related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 1 March 2016.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website.
Leave to appear will generally be granted when an applicant:

  1. has been summonsed to give evidence

  2. is an institution, or is a representative of an institution, that is subject to the inquiry to be undertaken

  3. may be the subject of an adverse allegation.

It is not essential for a person who will appear as a witness in a hearing to apply for leave to appear – witnesses may appear and give evidence without applying for leave.

The form should be lodged with the Royal Commission via:
Email:; or Mail: GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001.