Mary Iliadis is a PhD Candidate, Research Assistant and Associate Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University. Her research examines the rights of sexual assault victims across four focus jurisdictions (England and Wales, Ireland, South Australia and Victoria). She has worked on two Criminology Research Council funded projects and has presented her research at conferences nationally and internationally. In 2013, Mary was awarded the ANZSOC Monash Postgraduate Presentation Prize and her honours thesis received the Monash School of Social Sciences and Criminology Dissertation Prizes. Following her Honour’s year, Mary received an APA scholarship for her Doctoral candidature. Mary has also volunteered to work at several conferences and was a member or the organising committee for the Critical Criminology Conference hosted by Monash University in 2014. Mary’s research areas are within victimology, victims’ rights, prosecutorial decision-making, access to justice issues and law reform.
Assessing the Rights of Victims within the Adversarial Framework: The Viability of Introducing Legal Representation for Victims of Sexual Assault within the Prosecution Process in Victoria.
Victims’ rights are integral to the prosecution process. Over the past three decades, significant changes to legal policies have attempted to locate victims as “integral players … rather than mere bystanders” in the prosecution process (O’Connell 2012: 1). As a result, we have seen a range of victim-focused reforms emerging that seek to redress procedural and substantive justice concerns. This is particularly so in relation to sexual assault cases, which have historically resulted in persistent victim dissatisfaction with, and alienation from, the prosecution process. More recently, several common law jurisdictions have moved somewhat contentiously, towards integrating victim participation rights within the prosecution process through reforms that offer legal representation to victims and the right to review prosecutorial discretion.
This research project analyses three unique forms of victim participation/representation operating in England and Wales, Ireland and South Australia, in order to examine how they function; in what ways they address and represent victims’ rights in the prosecution process; and in what ways they may positively and negatively respond to victims’ needs and expectations. In doing so, this research will consider whether there is viability to further enhance sexual assault victims’ rights within Victoria’s prosecution process by granting victims the right to be legally represented or giving victims increased participatory rights, such as the rights afforded to victims in this thesis’ focus jurisdictions.
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