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Queensland legislation: Accused rapists, sex offenders can be named under Queensland law change | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


People charged with rape and other sexual offences in Queensland can soon be named after new laws passed in the state today.

The laws will commence on October 3, meaning the identity of accused rapists and sex offenders can be reported.

Here’s what we know about the changes.

Brisbane Supreme Court, Queensland Supreme Court, Brisbane District Court, Queensland District Court.
Media will be able to publish the name of accused rapists before they’re committed to stand trial. (Toby Crockford)

The changes are to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1978 which currently prohibits media from reporting the identity of accused rapists or defendants facing charges for “prescribed sexual offences”.

A prescribed sexual offence refers to rape, attempt to commit rape, assault with intent to commit rape and sexual assault.

Previously, the law meant the identity of the accused in a sexual assault case couldn’t be published until they were committed to stand trial.

The Queensland parliament passed an update to the act on Wednesday, meaning alleged rapists or sex offenders can be publicly named in the media before they stand trial.

Soon, those accused of sexual offences will be treated the same as people charged with any other offence.

The identity of complainants will remain protected. (Nine)

The only way their identity is protected is if the accused, victim or prosecution apply to a court for a non-publication order.

But the application for a non-publication order will be scrutinised extensively with the court considering submissions made and views expressed by an alleged victim.

Accredited media will also be able to attend any hearings on a non-publication order application.

The legislation takes effect from October 3.

From that date, the accused’s identity can be published with the only exception being if revealing the name would subsequently identify the victim.

Justice and Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Minister Yvette D’Ath said the changes put the interest of victims at the forefront of the judicial system.

“Rape and sexual assault are some of the most underreported criminal offences in Australia and we want to support victims to come forward and hold perpetrators to account,” she said.

“Rape and sexual assault are some of the most underreported criminal offences in Australia and we want to support victims to come forward and hold perpetrators to account.”

What are the laws around Australia?

The changes to Queensland laws bring the state closer in line with other states and territories except for the Northern Territory.

Melbourne's County Court.
Northern Territory is the only state or territory remaining where accused rapists can only be named when they are committed to stand trial. (A Current Affair)

In New South Wales, the complainant can’t be identified unless there is permission by the court but the defendant can be identified without the court’s permission.

In the ACT, the defendant can be identified but the complainant can’t be identified by name “reference or allusion including allowing someone to find out their private, business or official address, email address or telephone number”.

In South Australia, alleged rapists can be named from their first court appearance as long as it doesn’t in any way identify the alleged victim.

In Western Australia, the identity of accused rapists can be published.

In Victoria, an accused sex offender can be identified.

In the Northern Territory, an accused rapist cannot be identified until after they’re committed to stand trial.



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