5.15pm Registration 

5.30pm The Chair, Her Honour Judge Deborah Richards, District Court of Queensland, will introduce the speaker, The Honourable Anthony North QC, Chair, Victorian Law Reform Commission, and commentator, Professor Julia Quilter, University of Woolongong.

6.45pm Refreshments in the foyer


The Victorian Law Reform Commission has recently released a major report on the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offences. The State's Attorney-General has indicated that this report will guide the next ten years of reform in this area. In this seminar, Chair of the VLRC, the Honourable Tony North QC will discuss several key reforms suggested in the report, where progress is urgently needed. These include:

  • Consent: the introduction of a model of 'communicative consent' requiring a person to take active steps to ensure that another person consents to sex before engaging in it.
  • Victim advocates: the appointment of an independent person to 'walk alongside' victim-survivors throughout their involvement in the justice process, providing information, support, liaison, referrals and advice.
  • Alternatives to criminal trial: the creation of other ways in which survivors can obtain justice besides the criminal trial, such as restorative justice, truth telling, and civil litigation.
  • Specialisation: the introduction of specialised training and specialist accreditation requirements for all judicial officers and lawyers involved in sex offence cases.
  • Independent review panels: the introduction of an independent panel to review police and prosecutors' decisions to continue, drop or downgrade sexual offence charges; and
  • Improvements to trial processes: further improvements to trial processes in areas such as jury directions and expert evidence, designed to make trials less traumatic for victim-survivors.


This seminar is accredited for CPD purposes by the Queensland Bar Association, 1.5 CPD points in the Substantive Law strand.


Registrations are now open via the Bar Association of Queensland:

BAQ members     Non-members

About Current Legal Issues Seminar Series

Launched in 2009, Current Legal Issues is a high profile series of seminars featuring leading national and international legal scholars, practitioners and members of the judiciary.

The series is a collaboration between UQ Law, the Bar Association of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law and the Supreme Court of Queensland Library. It seeks to bring together leading scholars, practitioners and members of the Judiciary in Queensland and from abroad, with a view to:

  • providing a forum for the critical analysis and discussion of current legal issues
  • bringing to bear upon those issues the different perspectives offered by leading academics, legal professionals and the Judiciary
  • forging stronger links between academic and practising lawyers in Queensland.

Each seminar will comprise a Chair, Speaker, and Commentator. The Chair will introduce the Speaker and Commentator. A paper will then be presented by a leading practitioner or academic lawyer, and will be subject to a brief, expert commentary. There will then be an opportunity for members of the floor to ask questions and engage in further discussion. The paper and a short profile of each participant will be available in advance on this website to assist in facilitating full discussion.


The Banco Court
Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law
415 George Street