In the Northern Territory, sexual offences laws are found in the Criminal Code Act 1983 (CCA), as amended. The Sexual Offences (Evidence and Procedure) Act 1983 (SOEP) contains the rules of evidence applicable to sexual offences.

Many of the provisions covered by this review meet good practice standards. For example, sexual assault covers all forms of non-consensual sexual penetration – by penis, objects and other body parts – of all orifices. Consensual same-sex sexual activity is not a crime.

The age of consent is 16 years for everyone.

However, some other aspects of the legislation do not meet good practice standards. For example, under the CCA, non-penetrative offences are partly contained within the moralistically termed offence of ‘gross indecency’, which is not defined and does not expressly include all forms of non-penetrative sexual touching. Child sexual assault provisions are limited, for example, sexual communication with a child, sexual acts in the presence of a child, or grooming are not specifically captured by the law. There are no close-in-age defences to child sexual assault, which are essential to prevent criminalising consensual sexual activity between young people where one or both are under the age of consent.

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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