Justice McClellan addresses the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW Conference

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Sydney, New South Wales

Wednesday 2 August, 2017

The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM
Chair, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse


Criminal Justice Issues for the Royal Commission 

In our system of criminal justice the victim of an offence is not given a central role. This was not always the case. 

Historically the role of the state in the criminal trial process was very limited. Criminal disputes were considered private matters. Until the start of the 1400s, the laying of charges and the conduct of the prosecution was performed almost exclusively by the victim or their family.[1] 

Over the next three centuries the royal courts and officers of royal justice would exercise increasing influence in the criminal justice process, conducting both investigations and prosecutions.[2] However, victims remained, in many cases, responsible for apprehending the offender, filing charges, collecting evidence and running the trial.[3]


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