ASSAULT — AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT LEGISLATION
213. Hon SOPHIA MOERMOND to the parliamentary secretary
representing the Attorney General:
I refer the Attorney General to reports that the New South
Wales government will introduce sweeping changes to sexual assault laws, and
plans to adopt an affirmative consent model going forward.
(1) How many other jurisdictions across Australia
currently employ, or are actively considering, an affirmative consent
(2) Does the
McGowan government have any plans to move towards affirmative consent here in Western
(3) If no to (2), why not?
Hon MATTHEW SWINBOURN
I thank the member for some notice of the question.
(1) Two other states besides Western Australia have
codified the criminal law. Tasmania is one and it is the only Australian
jurisdiction to employ an affirmative consent model similar to that proposed by
the New South Wales government. In Tasmania, section 14A of the Criminal Code
Act 1924, ''Mistake as to consent in certain sexual offences''
sets out in section 14A(c) that a mistaken belief as to consent is not honest
and reasonable if the accused did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the
complainant was consenting to the act.
The other codified state is
Queensland where the Queensland Law Reform Commission completed its review of
the operation of consent and mistake-of-fact laws in relation to sexual
offending in June 2020. In the final report,
the QLRC did not recommend extensive changes to the existing laws. Instead, it
adopted the view that there should be
amendments that clarify, reinforce and update the current operation of the law.
Since then, however, the Queensland government has established the Women's
Safety and Justice Taskforce with a wide remit to consider, among other
terms of reference, the experience of women across the criminal justice system.
The Commissioner for Victims of Crime has been working with the Director of
Public Prosecutions on recommendations to the Attorney General in relation to
sexual assault laws in Western Australia. As stated, the criminal law framework
in New South Wales and Victoria is very different from that in Western Australia
and this, alongside how to improve the experience of victims in the criminal
justice system, will be taken into account when considering the