Criminal code additions to provide ‘clarity for judges’ over consent
New consent laws are expected to be passed today in an effort to modernise court proceedings over sexual assault cases.
Attorney-General and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman told Neil Breen three principles will be added to the criminal code.
First, that silence does not amount to consent, second, that consent can be withdrawn, and third, intoxication cannot be grounds for defence over mistaken consent.
“We’re hoping that will provide some clarity for judges to properly direct juries and get better outcomes for victims,” Ms Fentiman said.
But Neil pointed out a number of sexual assault groups specifically wanted the requirement of both parties to say ‘yes’.
Further steps will be taken to make the process less confronting to victims of sexual assault.
“[So] one, they come forward and report, because we know so many of these cases aren’t reported, but two, [so] they feel comfortable to go through the process to get a conviction.”
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