Sexual Assault Trials Handbook – Update 28 published

The following changes have been incorporated into this update:

[6-000] Recent sexual assault law

The following recent cases have been added:


BRC v R [2020] NSWCCA 176 — directions — tendency and context evidence

Vagg v R [2020] NSWCCA 134 — Evidence Act 1995, s 97 — tendency evidence

IW v R [2019] NSWCCA 311 — Evidence Act 1995, ss 104, 112 — credibility and character

Hogg v R [2019] NSWCCA 323 — Evidence Act 1995, s 89A — special caution


R v LS; R v MH [2020] NSWCCA 148 — child abuse material offences

Kannis v R [2020] NSWCCA 79 — cybersex offences against young girls

LS v R [2020] NSWCCA 27 — child abuse material offences

KMC v DPP (SA) [2020] HCA 6 — persistent sexual exploitation of a child

Park v R [2020] NSWCCA 90 — jurisdictional limits

Cabezuela v R [2020] NSWCCA 107 — sentencing — effect of COVID-19

Maxwell v R [2020] NSWCCA 94 — practice of referring to “remarks on sentence”

Scott v R [2020] NSWCCA 81 — re-sentencing — effect of COVID-19

RC v R; R v RC [2020] NSWCCA 76 — Crown appeal — sentence assessment reports

Davies v R [2019] NSWCCA 45 — child sexual assault — totality

Corliss v R [2020] NSWCCA 65 — Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, s 25AA— historical child sexual assault

DPP (NSW) v Burton [2020] NSWCCA 54 — sexual assault — self-induced intoxication

Baden v R [2020] NSWCCA 23 — child sex offences outside Australia


R v Mann [2020] SASCFC 69 — maintain unlawful sexual relationship with child

R v M, DV [2019] SASCFC 59 — persistent child abuse — elements

Maughan v R [2020] NSWCCA 51 — futility in assessing complainants’ behaviour by reference to stereotypical expectations


Decision Restricted [2020] NSWCCA 115 — cross-examination on prior sexual experience or activity

Jackmain (a pseudonym) v R [2020] NSWCCA 150 — Criminal Procedure Act 1986, s 293 — false complaint evidence

State of NSW v Carr [2020] NSWSC 643 — ESOs — punitive impact — protective purpose

Edwards v R [2020] NSWCCA 57 — prosecution duty of disclosure

Doyle v Commissioner of Police [2020] NSWCA 11 — LEPRA, s 65 — search warrants

Sexual Assault Communications Privilege

R v Bonanno; ex parte Protected Confider [2020] NSWCCA 156 — procedure — legislative requirements


Jackson v R [2020] NSWCCA 5 — directions — tendency evidence

Pell v The Queen [2020] HCA 12 — conviction appeal — unreasonable verdicts

Wheeler v R [2019] NSWCCA 255 — conviction appeal — unreasonable verdicts

The following recent legislation has been added:

Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) — amends Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) and Criminal Code (Cth) to make changes to all stages of criminal justice process, from bail and sentencing through to post-imprisonment options — inserts new sexual offences and minimum sentence scheme

Evidence Amendment (Tendency and Coincidence) Act 2020 — amends Evidence Act 1995, Pt 3.6 — clarifies matters to take into account when determining admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence — amends test in s 101(2) so tendency and coincidence evidence inadmissible unless probative value outweighs danger of unfair prejudice

Crimes Amendment (Special Care Offences) Act 2020 — amends Crimes Act 1900 special care sexual offences involving 16 and 17 year olds — creates new special care categories — certain categories now have requirement that victim be “under the authority” of offender — new defence for young people for some incest offences

Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Cth) — amends Criminal Code (Cth) and Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) — repeals and replaces definition of forced marriage, and defence of marriage for child sex offences — creates new offences including possession of child-like sex doll and possession of child abuse material obtained using carriage service — creates offences related to Commonwealth officers who fail to protect children from, or report, child sexual abuse

[8-000] Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that the impacts of child sexual abuse are “interconnected in complex ways”, making specific impacts difficult to isolate. Following the publication of the online Bugmy Bar Book, a new paragraph has been inserted at [8-520] Bugmy Bar book. This chapter collates expert research about the impact of child sexual abuse and how sentencing courts may take into account these impacts in relation to sentencing persons convicted of child sexual assault offences, as well as other types of offences. The overall purpose of the Bugmy Bar book is to assist in the preparation and presentation of evidence to establish the application of the Bugmy v The Queen(2013) 249 CLR 571 principles. Additional articles have been added to [8-600] Further reading.

[9-000] Sexual assault communications privilege

This chapter has been revised at [9-300] Applications for grant of leave, to add R v Bonanno; ex parte Protected Confider [2020] NSWCCA 156, and the importance of considering the specific terms of ss 299C and 299D of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.