Professor Anne Cossins

Dr Annie Cossins is an Associate Professor in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales.  She is the pre-eminent Australian expert on legal reform in the area of sexual assault and a scholar in theoretical criminology. She is presently the holder of an ARC Discovery Grant (along with J Delahunty) entitled: "Countering misconceptions in child sexual assault cases with expert evidence and judicial directions".

She is the founder and Convenor of the National Child Sexual Assault Reform Committee - a high-level committee which was comprised of all Directors of Public Prosecution, various District Court judges, academics, and Children`s Commissioners (amongst others) which met annually for the past 8 years. A link to its discussion paper on reforms for the prosecution of child sex offences around Australia is available under Dr Cossins' publications. 

Dr Cossins was also a member of the Criminal Justice and Sexual Offences Taskforce which was established by the NSW Attorney-General in 2004 after a submission by her and the NSW Rape Crisis Centre to the Attorney-General for the establishment of a taskforce to examine changes to the laws of evidence in NSW and the feasibility of specialist courts for sex offences in NSW.  As a result of this Taskforce, a number of legislative changes were made to the substantive criminal law as well as procedural laws concerning the conduct of sexual assault trials in NSW.

She was a founding member of the NSW Working Party Concerning the Confidentiality of Sexual Assault Counsellors` Notes and the main author of submissions to the NSW Attorney-General`s Department which were used as the basis for the introduction of s 126H, Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), the first sexual assault communications privilege enacted in Australia.  She was also a member of the Child Protection Internet Taskforce, Ministry of Police, 2003-2004, a member of The Innocence Panel, (NSW Ministry for Police) between 2001-2003, a member of the Child Sexual Assault Jurisdiction Working Group on Practice and Procedure (NSW Attorney-General`s Department) 2002, and a consultant to Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Council, Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Inquiry into Child Sexual Assault Prosecutions in NSW, 2002.  She was the only academic member of the Advisory Committee of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration on a Guide to Children Giving Evidence and as a member of this committee, co-authored the first Australian benchbook on children's evidence, published by the AIJA.  In 2005, she was nominated for the Law and Justice Foundation Justice Medal.  She is a member of the board of the Centre for Gender Related Violence Studies at the University of New South Wales and is the Chair of the Advisory Committee of that Centre.

In 2010, she organised a group of judges and lawyers from Australia to visit the New York Sex Offenses Courts. In conjunction with the NY Center for Court Innovation, she organised the tour with the aim of studying the rationale for these courts and all procedural and practical measures that were involved in their establishment. As a result of her written report, the Premier of NSW recently announced the establishment of a pilot specialist sex offences court for NSW.

She was appointed as a consultant to the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2010 to work on its family violence reference which resulted in the publication: ALRC and NSWLRC (2010) Family Violence - A National Legal Response (Final Report). Several of her recommendations were adopted in the report.

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Books

Cossins A, 2015, Female Criminality Infanticide, Moral Panics and The Female Body, 4, Palgrave Macmillan, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0964663916647530a

Cossins AI, 2013, The Baby Farmers, ISBN 978 1 74331 401 2, Allen & Unwin, Sydney

Cossins AI, 2003, Remedies in Context: Commentary and Materials, Original, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney

Cossins A, 2000, Masculinities, Sexualities, and Child Sexual Abuse, ISBN 90 411 1355 X, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, London, Boston

Cossins AI, 1997, Annotated Freedom of Information Act New South Wales: History and Analysis, Original, Law Book Company Information Services, Sydney

Cossins AI; Harrison K, 1993, Documents, Dossiers and the Inside Dope: A Practical Guide to Freedom of Information Law, Allen & Unwin, Sydney

Journal articles

Cossins A, 2018, 'The future of joint trials of sex offences after Hughes: resolving judicial fears and jurisdictional tensions with evidence-based decision-making', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 41, pp. 1121 - 1159, http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MelbULawRw/2018/5.html

Plummer M; Cossins A, 2018, 'The Cycle of Abuse: When Victims Become Offenders', Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, vol. 19, pp. 286 - 304, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1524838016659487

Cossins A; Plummer M, 2018, 'Masculinity and Sexual Abuse', Men and Masculinities, vol. 21, pp. 163 - 188, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1097184x16652655

Goodman-Delahunty J; Martschuk N; Cossins A, 2017, 'What Australian Jurors Know and Do Not Know about Evidence of Child Sexual Abuse', CRIMINAL LAW JOURNAL, vol. 41, pp. 86 - 103, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000399695500003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a

Goodman-Delahunty J; Martschuk N; Cossins A, 2017, 'Validation of the Child Sexual Abuse Knowledge Questionnaire', Psychology, Crime and Law, vol. 23, pp. 391 - 412, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2016.1258469

Cossins AI; Jayakody A; Norrie C, 2016, 'The Role of Photographic and Video Documentation in the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Sexual Assault', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 23, pp. 925 - 937

Goodman-Delahunty J; Martschuk N; Cossins AI, 2016, 'Programmatic Pretest-posttest Research to Reduce Jury Bias in Child Sexual Abuse Cases', Onati Socio-Legal Series, vol. 6, pp. 283 - 314, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2786072

Cossins AI, 2014, 'The Legacy of the Makin case 120 Years on: Legal Fictions, Circular Reasoning and Some Solutions', The Sydney Law Review, pp. 731 - 760

Cossins AI; Goodman-Delahunty J, 2013, 'Misconceptions or expert evidence in child sexual assault trials: Enhancing justice and jurors’ “common sense”', Journal of Judicial Administration, vol. 22, pp. 171 - 190, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000214638200001&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a

Cossins AI, 2013, 'Expert Witness Evidence in Sexual Assault Trials - Questions, Answers and Law Reform in Australia and England', International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol. 17, pp. 74 - 113, http://dx.doi.org/10.1350/ijep.2013.17.1.419

Cossins AI; Goodman-delahunty ; O'Brien K, 2011, 'A Comparison of Expert Evidence and Judicial Directions to Counter Misconceptions in Child Sexual Abuse Trials', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, vol. 44, pp. 196 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0004865811405140

Cossins AI, 2011, 'The Behaviour of Persistent Sex Offenders: Implications for the Prosecution of Child Sex Offences in Joint Trials', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 35, pp. 821 - 864

Goodman-Delahunty J; Cossins AI; O''brien K, 2010, 'Enhancing the Credibility of Complainants in Child Sexual Assault Trials: The Effect of Expert Evidence and Judicial Directions', Behavioral Sciences and the Law, vol. 28, pp. 769 - 783, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.936/abstract

Cossins AI, 2010, 'Time Out for Longman: Myths, Science and the Common Law', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 34, pp. 69 - 105, http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/34_1_3_Cossins

Cossins AI; Goodman-Delahunty J; O'brien , 2009, 'Uncertainty and misconceptions about child sexual abuse: implications for the criminal justice system', Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, vol. 16, pp. 435 - 452, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13218710902930234

Cossins AI, 2009, 'Cross-examination in child sexual assault trials: evidentiary sfaeguard or an opportunity to confuse?', Macquarie Law Journal, vol. 33, pp. 68 - 104

Cossins AI, 2008, 'Children, sexual abuse and suggestibility: What laypeople think they know and what the literature tells us', Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, vol. 15, pp. 153 - 170

Cossins AI, 2008, 'Restorative justice and child sex offences: the theory & the practice', British Journal of Criminology, vol. 48, pp. 359 - 378, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azn013

Cossins AI, 2006, 'Prosecuting Child Sexual Assault Cases: To Specialise or Not, That is the Question', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 18, pp. 318 - 342

Cossins AI, 2006, 'Prosecuting Child Sexual Assault Cases: Are Vulnerable Witness Protections Enough', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 18, pp. 299 - 317

Cossins AI, 2004, 'Is There a Case for the Legal Representation of Children in Sexual Assault Trials?', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 16, pp. 160 - 182

Cossins AI, 2003, 'Saints, Sluts and Sexual Assault: Rethinking the Relationship Between Sex, Race and Gender', Social and Legal Studies, vol. 12, pp. 77 - 103

Cossins AI, 2002, 'The Hearsay Rule and Delayed Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse: The Law and the Evidence', Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, vol. 9, pp. 163 - 176

Kriesler PR; Mcnaughton AM; Cossins AI, 2001, 'Introduction to Special Issues: Mandatory Sentencing, Rights and Wrongs', Australian Journal of Human Rights, vol. 7, pp. 1 - 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2001.11911049

Cossins AI, 2001, 'Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse: Too Easy to Make or Too Difficult to Prove', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, pp. 149 - 168

Cossins AI, 1999, 'Defying Reality: Child Sexual Assault and The Delay in Complaint Rule', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 11, pp. 17 - 34

Cossins AI; Corpuz-Brock J, 1999, 'A Reply to the NSW Royal Commission Inquiry into Peadophilia: Victim Report Studies and Child Sex Offender Profiles - A Bad Match?', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, pp. 42 - 60

Cossins AI, 1997, 'Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse - Fact or Fantasy?', Judicial Review Journal of Judicial Commission of New South Wales, pp. 163 - 199

Cossins AI, 1996, 'Contempt or Confidentiality: Counselling Records, Relevance and Sexual Assault Trials', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 21, pp. 220 - 226

Cossins AI; Pilkinton R, 1996, 'Balancing the scales: the case of inadmissibility of counselling records in sexual assualt trials', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 19, pp. 222 - 267

Cossins AI, 1995, 'On stone throwing from the feminist sidelines: a critique of Helen Garner`s book `The First Stone`', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 20, pp. 528 - 561

Cossins AI, 1995, 'Revising open government: developments in shifting the boundaries of government secrecy under public interest immunity and freedom of infromation law', Federal Law Review, pp. 226 - 276

Cossins AI, 1992, 'Uncertainty, Risk Assessment and Legal Regulation: A Look at the Debate Surrounding the Release of Genetically-Engineered Organisms into the Environment', Environmental and Planning Law Journal,, vol. 9, pp. 320 - 330

Cossins AI, 1990, 'Women’s Dependence on the State', Legal Service Bulletin, vol. 15, pp. 105 - 110

Norton RS; Cossins AI; Kem WR, 1989, '1H NMR Study of the Solution Properties of the Polypeptide Neurotoxin I from the Sea Anemone Stichodactyla helianthus', Biochemistry, vol. 28, pp. 1820 - 1826, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi00430a059

Book Chapters

Cossins AI, 2016, 'The Sociology of Sex Offending: The Offender, Culture and Context', in Ward T; Beech T (ed.), Theories of Sexual Offending, edn. Original, Wiley-Blackwell, New York, pp. 267 - 288, http://books.google.com.au/books/about/Theories_of_sexual_offending.html?id=AGIPyIOhjrYC&redir_esc=y

Cossins AI, 2012, 'Cross-Examining the Child Complainant: Rights, Innovations and Unfounded Fears in the Australian Context', in Spencer J; Lamb M (ed.), Children and Cross-examination: Time to Change the Rules?, edn. Original, Hart Publishing, UK, http://www.wildy.com/isbn/9781849463072/children-and-cross-examination-time-to-change-the-rules-

Cossins AI, 2009, 'Restorative Justice and Child Sex Offences: The Theory and the Practice', in Hoyle C (ed.), Restorative Justice: Critical Concepts in Criminology, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 359 - 378

Cossins AI, 2007, 'Men, Masculinity & Child Sexual Abuse: A sex and gender question', in Kiter Edwards M; O'Toole L; Schiffman J (ed.), Gender Vioence: Interdiscilinary Perspectives, edn. 2nd, New York University Press, New York, pp. 333 - 341

Cossins AI, 1999, 'Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: The Science and the Ideology', in Breckenridge J; Laing L (ed.), Perspectives on Violence against Women, Allen & Unwin, Sydney

Cossins AI, 1998, 'Tipping the scales in her favour: The need to protect counselling records in sexual assult trials', in Easteal P (ed.), Balancing the Scales: Rape, Law Reform and Australian Culture, edn. Original, Federation Press, Sydney, pp. 94 - 106

Cossins AI, 1996, 'Open Government and Freedom of Information', in Douglas R; Jones M (ed.), Administrative Law: Cases and Materials, Federation Press, Sydney, pp. 55 - 85

Cossins AI, 1994, 'Using the Freedom of Information Act (Cth)', in Lawyers’ Practice Manual (NSW), Law Book Company Ltd, Sydney, pp. 1302/1 - 1302/43

Cossins AI, 1993, 'The Public Interest in Freedom of Information', in Douglas R; Jones M (ed.), Administrative Law: Cases and Materials, Federation Press, Sydney, pp. 151 - 161

Reports

Cossins AI; Goodman-Delahunty J; Martschuk N, 2016, Jury Reasoning in Joint and Separate Trials of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Study, Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, Sydney, ISBN 978-1-925289-61-9, http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/getattachment/5539a015-3353-4b20-9c7b-59cc97a80d1b/Jury-reasoning-in-joint-and-separate-trials

Cossins AI, 2012, Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Committee ‘Children Giving Evidence’ (2012) Bench Book for Children Giving Evidence in Australian Courts, Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, Melbourne

Cossins AI, 2006, Responding to sexual assault: the way forward, Criminal Law Review Division, Attorney General's department of NSW, Criminal Justice Task Force report December 2005

Other

Conference Papers

Cossins AI; Goodman-Delahunty J; Martschuk N, 2014, 'Persistent misconceptions about child sexual abuse: The impact of specialized educative information and deliberation on mock jurors.', in Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Empirical Studies of Judicial Systems: Citizen Participation Around the World, Institutum Jurisprudentiae Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, presented at Third International Conference on Empirical Studies of Judicial Systems: Citizen Participation Around the World, Taipei, Taiwan, 05 September 2014 - 06 September 2014

Cossins AI, 2000, 'Masculinities, sexualities and child sexual abuse', in British Criminology Conference, British Criminology Conference 1999, Liverpool, presented at British Criminology Conference 1999, Liverpool, 01 July 1999

Creative Written Works

Cossins AI, 2010, Alternative Models for Prosecuting Child Sex Offences in Australia, Alternative Models for Prosecuting Child Sex Offences in Australia, The National Child Sexual Assault Reform Committee, UNSW

Freedom of information law; child sexual abuse & criminology; civil remedies for civil actions; sexual assault reform law.