Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says he is moving to prevent further harm to victims in asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to undertake an inquiry into criminal justice responses to sexual violence.
The year-long inquiry emerged from an August national roundtable on justice responses to sexual violence. It was funded in the 2023-24 budget as part of a $14.7 million package. Mr Dreyfus on Tuesday announced Marcia Neave and judge Liesl Kudelka of the District Court of South Australia would lead it as newly appointed part-time commissioners.
"Ms Neave and judge Kudelka bring a wealth of expertise in law reform and justice responses to sexual violence," Mr Dreyfus said in a statement.
"All too often, seeking justice adds to the trauma experienced by victims and survivors."
The inquiry will look at relevant laws and legal frameworks, justice sector practices, and support for victims and survivors. It will also examine what works well for victims and survivors in the justice system.
"We know one in five women in Australia has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15," Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said in a statement. "We want to ensure they are not re-traumatised by processes and systems in place they access when seeking justice."
Ms Neave is a former judge and most recently the president and commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian government's responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings. She is also a former commissioner of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Judge Kudelka has 25 years of experience working in the justice system as a judge, counsel and prosecutor, including with victims of sexual violence.
The Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry is due to report by January 2025.