Aya Maarsawe
Notes and flowers at the site where Aiia Maarsawe's body was found in Bundoora (Image: AAP/James Ross)

Who may speak for the dead? Specifically, the deceased victim of a rape-murder? The Victorian government has brought this issue to the surface while trying to fix a problem it created for living survivors of sexual violence.

Some background: advocates -- including my legal firm* -- had been pushing Tasmania and the Northern Territory to reform archaic laws that prevented survivors from being publicly identified without first getting a court order to allow it. These were the last jurisdictions in Australia to have such laws, which have since been changed.

Meanwhile, in February, Victoria managed to accidentally legislate its way to an even more oppressive statutory regime, shutting up every survivor in the state -- even post-conviction. We went back on the lobbying trail, at the same time taking a dozen survivors through the court process for orders allowing them to speak again.