To bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences

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Wed 4 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 5 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30
    19.00 - 20.15
    20.30 - 22.00

Fri 6 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 7 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.00 - 17.00

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Wednesday 4 April 2018 11.00 - 13.00
B-2 - CRI18 : Crime Victims in the Twentieth-century Justice System
OSCR Lanyon Building
Network: Criminal Justice Chair: Louise Jackson
Organizer: Andy KaladelfosDiscussant: Louise Jackson
Robyn Blewer : The Testimony of Child Victims: Reform and Corroboration in Twentieth Century Australia
Credible witnesses are crucial for successful prosecutions. Character and reliability have weighed strongly on the minds of judges and juries for centuries with certain complainants treated as more suspect than others at particular times and places. The law has been especially cautious historically when it comes to the reliability of ... (Show more)
Credible witnesses are crucial for successful prosecutions. Character and reliability have weighed strongly on the minds of judges and juries for centuries with certain complainants treated as more suspect than others at particular times and places. The law has been especially cautious historically when it comes to the reliability of children. But by the beginning of the twentieth century a number of Australian jurisdictions began amending the law to allow the unsworn testimony of children in criminal cases, notwithstanding strict conditions on its admissibility. This paper examines these reforms and their limits in a number of states and tests these changes against large scale data from the Prosecution Project to evaluate whether they affected the outcomes of trials for crimes against children. It will begin by sketching the different legislative developments adopted by Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, and South Australia between the 1870s and 1970 assessing the timing and context of its introduction as well as the influence of common law principles. How we might measure quantitatively the consequences of these changes in prosecution practice and outcome – and the challenges this task presents – is the focus of our case study on child victims of sexual assault in these four jurisdictions. (Show less)

Andy Kaladelfos : Comparing Victimisation in Trials of Personal and Property Crimes
This paper will compare victims’ experiences and victimisation narratives that emerged in the course of trials of personal and property crimes in twentieth-century Australia. It will consider how the type of crime influenced the way victims were treated throughout the criminal justice process by comparing their treatment by the police, ... (Show more)
This paper will compare victims’ experiences and victimisation narratives that emerged in the course of trials of personal and property crimes in twentieth-century Australia. It will consider how the type of crime influenced the way victims were treated throughout the criminal justice process by comparing their treatment by the police, the courts, and the media. In particular, it asks what commonalities emerge across victimisation. For example, did victims of personal or property crime describe their experiences similarly, what were the perceptions of their behaviour by other witnesses, and what case characteristics, such as relationship between victim and offender, were seen across both types of crime? Further, did these factors affect how serious the courts and community saw their experiences? This paper answers these questions on victimisation by drawing on the case files materials of the Australian Prosecution Project database, a longitudinal study in the criminal trial in Australian history. (Show less)

Tanya Mitchell : Victims in the Summary Courts: Eroding Agency to Increase Effectiveness
The role of victims in the summary criminal jurisdiction is a relatively under-explored subject in criminal law and historical scholarship. In this paper the summary criminal jurisdiction is understood as the criminal justice apparatus or ‘legal space’ where magistrates preside over the determination of liability for certain proscribed behaviours in ... (Show more)
The role of victims in the summary criminal jurisdiction is a relatively under-explored subject in criminal law and historical scholarship. In this paper the summary criminal jurisdiction is understood as the criminal justice apparatus or ‘legal space’ where magistrates preside over the determination of liability for certain proscribed behaviours in the lower courts without the intervention of a jury. A close socio-historical analysis of the development of the summary criminal jurisdiction in New South Wales reveals that after more than a century of being sidelined, victims, as a group, began to move from the periphery to take up a key position in the criminal process in the final decades of the twentieth century. This was largely a product of the rise to prominence of ideas of social equality and human rights which prompted various victims’ and feminist groups to begin to lobby for law reform. However, an examination of the development of the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order and the offence of contravention in the summary jurisdiction shows that changes to law enforcement practices since the 1980s have eroded the agency of individual victims in the name of improving the ‘effectiveness’ of the criminal law as a tool for governing the high volume of lower end, but still very serious, domestic violence. This paper explores these contradictory dynamics in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the changing role of victims in the summary jurisdiction in the twentieth century. (Show less)

Sarah Wilson : Financial Crime and its Victims in ‘Mother England’ and her ‘Unruly Child’
This paper illuminates how Britain and Australia have experienced what is commonly termed ‘financial crime’ from the nineteenth century to the present. In Australia financial crime history has been much neglected, as it was in Britain until relatively recently. In looking to redress this, the paper considers the significance that ... (Show more)
This paper illuminates how Britain and Australia have experienced what is commonly termed ‘financial crime’ from the nineteenth century to the present. In Australia financial crime history has been much neglected, as it was in Britain until relatively recently. In looking to redress this, the paper considers the significance that ‘Crime History’ could have in the setting where the global financial crisis is widely viewed as a ‘turning point’ for financial crime enforcement (Tomasic, 2011), and its capability even of engendering ‘transformative’ understandings of financial wrongdoing required for wider societal acceptance of it as crime (Friedrichs, 2012). The idea of ‘victim blame’ is not unique to financial crime, but it is a recognised illustration of the perceptual and enforcement challenges presented by it. This paper considers the apparent tensions arising between perceiving victims as lacking due diligence and care in their personal and business affairs, or even being feckless and greedy on the one hand, and on the other acknowledging that much financial misconduct is perpetrated by those who are minded to exploit others’ vulnerabilities and are skilled in doing so. And in so doing, it comments on how Britain and Australia respond to competing ideas concerning capacity of an individual to protect themself from financial vulnerability, and the widely recognised indiscriminate nature of victimisation. (Show less)