QSAN position paper: QLRC review of consent laws and the excuse of mistake of fact
9th September 2020
QSAN believes that the opportunity has been missed to broadly assess the operation and practical application of current legislation that would improve the safety of women, encourage them to report to police and engage with the criminal justice system. Furthermore, that the recommendations do not address the failings of legislation and the criminal justice system that were actively raised in submissions from women’s services and in consultation with victim/survivors and advocates.
QSAN aligns with Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) and Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy’s (RASARA) recommendations for amending the QLRC’s draft Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) Amendment Bill 2020.
- THAT ANY REFORM MAKES QUEENSLAND SAFER FOR THE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HOLDS OFFENDERS ACCOUNTABLE
- THAT THE PASSAGE OF THE BILL BE SLOWED/HALTED TO ALLOW TIME TO UNDERTAKE A BROADER REVIEW
- THAT A BROAD-BASED REVIEW BE UNDERTAKEN
- THAT AN AFFIRMATIVE MODEL OF CONSENT IS ADOPTED
- THAT SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ARE INTRODUCED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT CONSENT IN THE CONTEXT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
- THAT MISTAKE OF FACT IS FURTHER CLARIFIED
- THAT GUIDING PRINCIPLES ARE INCLUDED
Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
On 13 August 2020, Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney General and Minister for Justice introduced the Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) and referred it to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee (the committee) for detailed consideration.
The committee invites written submissions on the Bill from interested stakeholders and members of the public. The closing date for lodging written submissions is 10:00am on Tuesday 15 September 2020.
Queensland Law Reform Commission Report – Consent and Mistake of Fact
In 2019, the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, issued terms of reference to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) about the operation of Queensland’s laws regarding consent and the excuse of mistake of fact as they apply to rape and sexual assaults.
The QLRC reported to the Attorney-General on 30 June 2020 in response to these terms of reference and suggested there should be some amendments to the Criminal Code to strengthen, reinforce and update the current operation of consent law in Queensland.
More than $1.8 m for sexual assault partnership in Townsville
The trial of a specialist Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Townsville will become permanent with new funding of more than $1.8 million over five-years from the Palaszczuk Government for the North Queensland Combined Women’s Service.
Townsville’s SART is a multi-agency approach involving police, health, forensic services and sexual assault counsellors to connect victims with the services they need from the moment they report an offence, through to their court hearing.
National Redress Scheme
The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia.
The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:
- access to counselling;
- a Redress payment; and
- a direct personal response from the institution (e.g. an apology) for people who want one.
The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
For more information, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Information Line on 1800 737 377.
Media Statement: COVID-19: Sexual violence to increase within our homes – Services encourage people to reach out for support and the government to take action to increase safety
30th March, 2020
Queensland specialist sexual support workers are seeing an increase in people reaching out for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
QSAN, the peak body for sexual assault in Queensland, has advised that specialist sexual assault services are moving rapidly to adapt service models to ensure that they can continue to support people impacted by sexual violence during this time…
The Queensland Law Reform Commission releases a consultation paper calling for submissions on laws relating to consent and the excuse of mistake of fact in rape and sexual assault cases
20th December 2019
QSAN welcomes the review of the Queensland consent laws and excuse of mistake of fact in relation to rape and sexual assault cases. It is clear that the current Queensland laws pertaining to sexual assault and rape cases are not effective in advocating for victims of sexual assault or protecting the community from perpetrators of sexual violence…