Sexual assault law reform in New South Wales: Issues of consent and objective fault
- Lawbook Co
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Criminal Law Journal, 2008, 32 (3), pp. 152 - 166
- Issue Date:
The purpose of this article is to assess the recent reforms to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in relation to sexual assault. Two of the main reasons for reform were to increase the reporting of sexual assault and to increase conviction rates. It is not possible to assess the impact of the reforms on these two factors; as such, the article focuses on the legal changes and their predictive impact upon the proof of liability for sexual assault offences. Specifically, it assesses the statutory definition of consent, the expansion of the circumstances whereby consent would be negated or vitiated, and the adoption of an objective fault element. The article also considers, where relevant, the current law on sexual assault in other Australian jurisdictions, as well the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.
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