In New South Wales, sexual offences laws are found in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) as amended (CA). The Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) (EA) and the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (CPA) contains the rules of evidence which apply to sexual assault offences.

Many of the provisions covered by this review meet good practice standards. For example, the offence of ‘sexual assault’ covers all forms of non-consensual sexual penetration – by penis, objects and other body parts – of all orifices. Non-penetrative offences are broadly defined to include all forms of sexual assault. There is an extensive array of child sexual assault provisions, no moralistic terminology is used, and there are close-in-age defences to child sexual assault offences preventing criminalising consensual sexual activity between young people.

The age of consent is 16 years for everyone. Consensual same-sex sexual activity is not a crime.

However, although the EA explicitly states that corroboration of a sexual assault complaint is not required, the judge’s discretion to warn the fact finder of convicting on uncorroborated evidence is retained. The CPA states that evidence relating to the prior sexual conduct of the complainant is inadmissible, with some limited exceptions.

The full assessment of Australia is available here.

NEXT STEPS TOWARDS REFORM: THE PACIFIC

NEXT STEPS TOWARDS REFORM: THE PACIFIC

This report examines the status of sexual offences legislation in the Commonwealth Pacific, assessing good practice and identifying where there are gaps in protection, with a particular focus on women, children, LGBT+ people and people with disability.

GOOD PRACTICE IN HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLIANT SEXUAL OFFENCES LAWS

GOOD PRACTICE IN HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLIANT SEXUAL OFFENCES LAWS

This report lays out criteria for good practice human rights compliant laws across four areas of sexual offences legislation, namely rape/sexual assault, age of consent for sexual conduct, treatment of consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults, and sexual offences in relation to people with disability.

CHANGING LAWS, CHANGING LIVES

CHANGING LAWS, CHANGING LIVES

Since 2015, the Trust's legislative reform programme has been analysing the need for the reform of sexual offence laws and delivering technical assistance to support such reform. Find out more about our Changing Laws, Changing Lives programme.

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