Exercising increased powers related to the public health response 2. Reducing the flow of people into the criminal legal system and prisons as part of the public health response. New laws and the declaration of a state of emergency have imposed severe restrictions on our civil liberties and brought in unprecedented policing powers. In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID, Governments have expanded the role of police to not only uphold pre-existing laws but to also enforce new public health directions. In Victoria, an example of this is Operation Sentinel , a select group of police who have been tasked with policing breaches of mass-gathering restrictions and self-isolation orders. While international human rights law recognises that certain human rights may be suspended in a time of public emergency, this should not be a free pass for heavy-handed policing. In a time of great upheaval, it is vital that laws increasing police powers also include safeguards that will ensure they are clearly expressed and narrowly confined to deal with the immediate public health crisis. Any such powers should also be time bound and regularly reviewed, so that when this public health crisis ends, so do the powers. Why are increased police powers concerning? While politicians say that police are committed to taking a “sensible approach”, history has shown that too often marginalised groups are disproportionately punished through an expansion of policing powers.
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Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in The laws about what age a young person can validly consent to sex are different in each state and territory. In Victoria, like in the majority of jurisdictions, the age of consent stands at However, a young person aged 16 or 17 cannot validly consent to sex with a person in a position of authority over them.
Like many states, Victoria has what is often referred to as a Romeo and Juliette law.
Victoria has gone backwards and introduced a law that will see criminals fist pumping in their cells and sexual assault survivors having to hide.
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Big LawAug 27 Victoria to review gag laws that would imprison sexual assault victims. An “urgent” review into the gag laws preventing sexual assault.
While Tasmania and the NT have repealed sexual assault victim gag laws, Victoria has gone backwards. Posed by model. Picture: iStock. Convicted rapists and paedophiles in Victoria must be cheering in their jail cells today, to learn that their victims are no longer able to speak to the media, publish autobiographies, or do any kind of public advocacy work — at least not under their real identities.
Under changes to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act — which were quietly introduced in February — it is now a crime for all rape and sexual assault victims to tell their stories under their real names, once a guilty verdict is in place. Ironically, this is ordinarily the safest time for survivors to speak to media, and lawyers will often advise sexual assault complainants to wait until this moment as the defamation risk significantly drops away, as does the risk of jeopardising an upcoming trial.
Now though, sexual assault survivors could face up to four months jail or fines of thousands of dollars if they speak out under their real identities post conviction. Ignoring the financial penalty this saddles survivors with, for many, the process of going through court the first time is so deeply scarring, that even the idea of having to re-engage with the criminal justice system is going to be re-traumatising. Indeed the very nature of sexual assault is that it disempowers and silences a person, stripping them of individual autonomy, agency, and control.
Victoria’s early history, 1803-1851
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The Victorian Parliament passed legislation to strengthen Victoria’s response to children and young people in out-of-home care on Tuesday, 2.
The law in Victoria sets clear age limits for when you can legally have sex. This is called the age of consent. A person can be charged with a sexual offence if they perform a sexual act that breaks these age limits, even if the younger person agrees to it. The age of consent for same-sex relationships is the same as it is for heterosexual relationships.
If you are under 12, a person can’t have sex with you or touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you agree. However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed that you were 16 or if there was less than a two-year age difference between you. This is exactly two years. For example, if a person is 17 and has sex with someone who is 15, it is not a crime.
But if the person was 18, it is a crime unless the person believed the person was 16 or older. A person who is caring for you or supervising you, like a teacher, youth worker or foster carer, can’t have sex with you or sexually touch you or perform a sexual act or indecent act with you or in front of you, even if you agree, unless they are married to you. However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed you were 18 or older. If someone has sex with you or touches you sexually when you are asleep, unconscious or so affected by alcohol or drugs that you are not able to freely agree, it is still a sexual offence.
Find out how you can get help with sex and the law.
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The law presumes that it’s in the best interests of a child for parents to have equal court at a later date, the court may consider the terms of the most recent.
How far can I travel, and how many people can I have over at my house? Australians had been slowly emerging from Covid lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country , but from 8 July the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell shire immediately to the north returned to a stage three lockdown for six weeks. After consistently high case numbers despite the lockdown, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced further restrictions for the state.
From 2 August, metropolitan Melbourne entered a six-week stage four lockdown, while a stage three lockdown took effect across regional Victoria and Mitchell shire from 6 August. Here we try to answer some of the most common questions people have about the laws in each state, based on the information current as of 26 August.
These answers should not be treated as legal advice. This article will be updated as new restrictions are announced, implemented, or repealed.