Special arrangements for giving evidence

There are special arrangements in place for victims of sexual assault and family violence who are required to give evidence. These arrangements apply to adult victims, child victims and victims with a cognitive impairment.

Special arrangements for adult victims giving evidence include:

  • giving evidence from another location by closed-circuit television (CCTV)
  • using screens in the courtroom to ensure that the accused person is not visible
  • allowing a support person to be present when giving evidence

In sexual assault matters, the legislation states that the judge must allow for any or all of these arrangements to be made.

In family violence matters, the barrister engaged by the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) can ask the judge for any or all of these arrangements to be made. The judge will decide which arrangements will be made available in each individual case

Child victims and victims with a cognitive impairment

Child victims and witnesses with a cognitive impairment give evidence at what is known as a Special Hearing. The purpose of the Special Hearing is to limit the number of times such a witness is required to give evidence. The evidence of the witness is video recorded and then played to a jury at the trial.

More about Witnesses