22 November, 2022

Sexual Offences Review webpage and Terms of Reference launched

The Sexual Offences Review has published its webpage and Terms of Reference to give information to the public and professionals about its work on reviewing how the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland deals with reports of sexual offences.

The review was commissioned by Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC , in recognition of the profound impact that sexual violence crimes have on victims and on society, and the fact that sexual offences now account for at least 70 per cent of the casework of Scotland’s High Court prosecutors.

Ampersand’s Susanne Tanner KC has been appointed to chair the review, assisted by colleagues seconded from Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. Ms Tanner KC will make findings and recommendations to improve the way in which reports of sexual offences are dealt with and they will be published on the webpage in autumn 2023.

Full article can be viewed on the COPFS website here.

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We will be collecting information in a variety of ways including focus groups and interviews. We are speaking to a range of people including victims of sexual crime, those charged with an offence, defence solicitors and counsel, academics, police, court staff, prosecution colleagues, third sector support agencies and prosecutors in other countries, to see how they are dealing with these challenging cases.

I hope that the outcome of this review will further develop the prosecution response to sexual offending in a way which focuses on justice and is sensitive to the needs of victims. Susanne Tanner KC
I welcome this milestone in the Sexual Offences Review which will enable members of the public and professionals to follow the progress of the review and to provide their views.

I am delighted that Susanne is taking forward this crucial work and I am confident she will make a significant contribution. Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC