Two specialist District Court Judges were sworn in on Monday 24 August 2015 to hear child sexual assault matters across NSW.
Ms Girdham SC and Ms Traill are barristers with experience in child sexual assault matters who will undertake further intensive training to increase their knowledge of the special needs of child witnesses.
There is recognition that the justice system can be stressful and at times traumatic for victims, particularly for children and young people. The specialist judges will make access to justice easier for child sexual assault victims.
The appointment of the two specialist judges will make access to justice faster and easier for the victims of child sexual assault.
The appointment of specialist judges is the latest step to better protect, and deliver justice for, child sexual assault victims. The NSW Government has already increased the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 from 25 years to life imprisonment, and included an additional 13 child sexual assault offences in the Standard Non-Parole Period Scheme.
The Government has also convened a Child Sexual Assault Taskforce to advise on the best way to pilot the use of Children's Champions who will support child witnesses through the court process, and the pre-recording of children's evidence. The Taskforce includes the Department of Justice, NSW Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Victims Services and Legal Aid NSW.
PhotoFrom left: Ms Traill, NSW Attorney General, Gabrielle Upton and MsGirdham SC