Sexual assault proceedings are a difficult and sometimes controversial part of the work of judicial officers. In recent years, there have been significant case law and legislative developments which have had an impact on the trial process.
The Handbook is designed to provide a practical and academic reference point for judicial officers dealing with sexual offence proceedings. Substantive material is accessed via links.
The Handbook provides offence tables, recent sexual assault cases and legislation, relevant legal and non-legal resource materials regarding sexual assault and other resources and District Court Criminal Practice Notes relevant to sexual assault proceedings. The Handbook does not cover substantive evidentiary issues which arise in all types of criminal trials, such as character and hearsay evidence. These are dealt with in the Criminal Trial Courts Bench Book.
On behalf of the Education Committee of the District Court, the Handbook was designed for the Judicial Commission of NSW by a working group which comprised her Honour Judge Helen Murrell SC (Chair), his Honour Judge Roy Ellis, his Honour Judge Brian Knox SC and the then Education Director of the Judicial Commission, Ruth Windeler. The working group acknowledges the invaluable research and other work undertaken by Margaret Nakagawa.
The review and updating of the Handbook is now the responsibility of Commission staff. Suggestions for additions or amendments
to the Handbook are welcome and may be emailed to