Trying delays: forensic disadvantage in child sexual assault trials
D Hamer, “Trying delays: forensic disadvantage in child sexual assault trials” (2010) 9 Criminal Law Review 671.
This article considers the possible consequences of delayed prosecutions for child sexual assault offences, particularly the forensic disadvantages faced by defendants. With reference to Australian and UK case law, the article examines the scope for delay to cause evidence to be lost, whether the loss must be proven, whether regard should be had to lost peripheral evidence and whether existing evidence may compensate for what is lost. The article argues for a balanced response to lost evidence with no allowances being made in a defendant’s favour, and for convictions to be based upon the strength of the prosecution evidence.