In Queensland, sexual offences laws are found in the Criminal Code 1989 (CC), as amended. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1978 (CLSO) contains the relevant rules of evidence.
Many of the provisions covered by this review meet good practice standards. For example, offences of sexual assault cover all forms of non-consensual sexual penetration – by penis, objects and other body parts – of all orifices. The consent provisions require an accused to actively seek to confirm consent.
The age of consent is 16 years for everyone. Consensual same-sex sexual activity is not a crime.
Other aspects of the provisions assessed here do not meet good practice standards and require reform. For example, non-penetrative offences are contained within the undefined offence of ‘indecent assault’. The moralistic terms ‘carnal knowledge’, ‘indecent assault’ and ‘indecent treatment’ are used. Corroboration is not strictly prohibited. The CLSO states that evidence of prior sexual conduct of the complainantisinadmissible,butthere are limited exceptions without adequate safeguards. Although child sexual assault provisions are comprehensive, there are no close-in-age defences to child sexual offences preventing the criminalising of consensual sexual activity between young people when one or both are under the age of consent.
The full assessment of Australia is available here.