Source: (1999) In Review of the civil and criminal and justice system (consultation drafts), vol. 2, sec. 4.3: 763-792. Perth, Western Australia: Law Reform Commission of Western AustraliaIn exploring the possible use of alternative dispute resolution, this paper from the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is a draft released for public comment. It begins with a brief discussion of the history of the criminal justice system to the present day. As matters currently stand, the Crown is the complainant in criminal proceedings and the witness is basically relegated to the status of only a witness. In this context, the Commission considers the possibilities for changes in the system through the use of alternative dispute resolution rather than the current criminal justice process of investigation of an offense followed by formal court proceedings and sentencing. After discussion of key issues, it is recommended that a compulsory conference be held in all matters which are proceeding to a hearing. The conference is to be convened by a court official to ensure procedural fairness.