The ABC has a story on calls by the Rape Crisis Centre for the testimony of rape victims to be re-used, in order to spare them the trauma of having to re-state it in cases where multiple trials occur.
There’s a very real problem with securing rape convictions so I have some sympathy for this view. Does the same evidence need to be brought by the victim over and over again?
The Chief Minister thinks so, with some merit to his argument as well:
“The right of a person to a fair trial to the presumption of innocence would be seriously affected,” he said.
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“I’m not persuaded that it would be appropriate in a trial for a person accused of a crime, particularly a serious crime, that they not have the opportunity to face their accuser and to examine their accuser or cross-examine their accuser as to the allegations or the evidence they give.”
Is there room for a compromise where the complete testimony of the witness, including the cross-examination, would be included in a re-trial?