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Alban Maginness: Why the Gillen review into the way sex crime is handled must not be allowed to gather dust 

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In a timely reminder before the Christmas holidays, Victim Support NI urged the public, especially those directly affected by serious sexual crime, to heed the call by Sir John Gillen to respond by January 18, 2019, to his interim report that outlined a series of draft recommendations to reform the way in which our courts deal with serious sexual crime.

Sir John was asked to conduct a review into the way serious sexual criminal cases are dealt with by our courts. His report, which is exceptionally readable and lacking in legal jargon, makes sad reading about the current state of our legal process in dealing with these serious cases.

His report is direct, as one would expect from its author, a widely experienced and forthright former judge. He does not mince his words and is bluntly critical of the way in which these sensitive and most traumatic cases are dealt with.

He has highlighted startling figures, such as the time it takes from an initial complaint of a crime to the conclusion of the case. Here it takes 943 days - almost three years - for rape cases to be completed. In Britain, the time taken is about half of that taken here.

Given the longevity of the process and the anxiety that it produces for........

© Belfast Telegraph