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4.8.2 - Charge: Section 52 Direction

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[This charge has been drafted for use in cases where the trial judge considers that there is likely to be evidence in the trial that suggests that the complainant delayed in making a complaint or did not make a complaint.

For this purpose, a complaint delayed in making a complaint if the complainant did not pursue or continue to pursue the complaint in a timely manner or the complainant did not make a complaint at the first or a subsequent reasonable opportunity.

This charge is designed to be given before any evidence is adduced. It will need to be adapted if it is given after evidence has been led.]

Section 52 Direction

As you will become aware, the offence[s] in this trial [is/are] alleged to have occurred [indicate date(s) or date range(s)].

You will hear evidence that NOC did not inform anyone about these offences until [indicate date], which was [indicate delay] after the offence[s] [was/were] alleged to have taken place.[1]

I must give you the following direction of law about this delay. Experience shows that people react differently to sexual offences and there is no typical, proper or normal response to a sexual offence. Some people may complain immediately to the first person they see, while others may not complain for some time and others may never make a complaint. It is a common occurrence for there to be a delay in making a complaint about a sexual offence.


[1] If the section 52 direction is only relevant to some of the offences charged, this paragraph must be modified accordingly.

Last updated: 29 June 2015

See Also

4.8 - Delayed Complaint

4.8.1 - Effect of Delayed Complaint on Credit

4.8.3 - Charge: Section 53 Direction

4.8.4 - Delay Causing Forensic Disadvantage

4.8.5 - Charge: Delay Causing Forensic Disadvantage

4.8.6 - Delay Risking Honest but Erroneous Memory

4.8.7 - Charge: Delay Risking Honest But Erroneous Memory