In South Australia, sexual offences laws are found in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (CLC) as amended. The Evidence Act 1929 (EA) (as amended) contains the rules of evidence applicable to sexual offences, including in relation to the rule on corroboration and admissibility of prior sexual conduct in sexual assault cases.
Many of the provisions covered by this review and the criteria below 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.
The age of consent is 17 years for all. Consensual same-sex sexual activity is not a crime.
Other aspects of the provisions assessed in this report do not meet good practice standards and require reform. For example, non-penetrative sexual offences are partly contained within the undefined and moralistically termed offence of ‘indecent assault’. The offence of ‘compelled sexual manipulation’ is too narrowly construed. These offences do not expressly include all forms of sexual touching. Child sexual assault provisions are also limited, with no offences for example of sexual communication with a child, sexual acts in the presence of a child, or sexual abuse by a person in power or authority. These may be covered under Federal criminal laws, which are not assessed in this report.
They are further weakened by the absence of close-in-age exceptions. Close-in-age defences or exceptions are necessary to avoid criminalising young people and children who engage in consensual sexual activity with their peers. A requirement for corroboration in sexual assault cases is not expressly prohibited.
The full assessment of Australia is available here.