SASS and Women's Legal Service Tasmania (WLST) recently submitted a joint submission to the Tasmanian Department of Justice regarding the Draft Evidence (Children and Special Witnesses) Amendment Bill 2020. The draft Bill proposes an intermediaries scheme to assist children and adults with communication needs to participate in the criminal justice system.
SASS and WLST strongly support this Scheme. Although significant strides have been taken in Tasmania to improve the legal justice process for children and other vulnerable witnesses, the fact remains that the ability of a victim to effectively communicate with police, counsel and throughout the court process is a critical factor in their ability to access justice. This Scheme will contribute a great deal to ensuring equitable access to justice for all.