||The purpose of this Bill is to amend -
the Evidence Act 1906; the Justices Act 1902; the Children's Court of Western Australia Act 1988; and
The Criminal Code. The amendments effected by the Bill will -
facilitate the admission of documentary and foreign evidence in trials involving complex commercial crime; allow for the admission of documentary evidence created using modern information technology; permit child and vulnerable witnesses to give their evidence on video-tape to save them from the trauma of giving evidence in open court; remove inappropriate requirements for the tendering of statements of child witnesses at the early stages of the prosecution process; allow the use of witness statements in prosecutions for crimes in the children's court and where there is an ex officio indictment, if the witness has died, is too ill to come to court, or simply cannot be found before the trial; restore an element of fairness when an accused person makes unsubstantiated assertions against the character of a deceased victim of a crime; extend certain provisions in the Evidence Act to the prosecution of offences where the offender has been charged with repealed Criminal Code sections; and
allow a complainant in a sexual offence to authorise the publication or communication of their name without being held to be committing a crime.