You will need to provide your Victim Impact Statement (VIS) to the prosecutor. They will make sure the defence lawyer, the defendant and the judge see it before it's presented to court.
The defendant will see your VIS, but won't get to keep it.
Presenting your VIS in court
You have a few options to present your VIS to the court:
- reading your VIS out loud
- having a person you nominate read your VIS out loud. A nominated person could include the Commissioner for Victims' Rights
- having the prosecutor read your VIS out loud
- submitting your VIS to the court without it being read out loud.
If your VIS is read out in court, it can be reported in the media.
If you don't want this to happen, you should talk with the prosecutor or your Witness Assistance Officer.
The prosecutor might then ask the court to order information from your VIS not be reported by the media.
Newspapers and other media cannot name sexual assault victims in their reports, unless they explicitly agree.
If you are concerned about your privacy when reading your VIS aloud, you can apply to the judge or the magistrate to close the court room.
If the judge or magistrate agrees, this means the general public and media would not be allowed in the court room while you read it.
After the court case is over, your VIS becomes part of the official court file.
Any member of the public or even a journalist can ask to read a court file after a court case is over.
If the judge speaks about your VIS at the sentencing hearing, their comments will be made available to the media.
After the judge sentences the accused, their written sentencing remarks can be downloaded from the Courts Administration Authority website.