The Queensland Parliament has passed a new sexual consent law that requires people to give or refuse sexual activity verbally. This means that silence and addiction can no longer mean that consensus has been given on sexual relations.
Under the new bipartisan-backed law, consent can also be withdrawn by words or actions during sexual relations.
However, in some circumstances, the suspect may use false consent as a criminal defense against sexual assault, including no verbal refusal.
Queensland Greens tried to move a last-minute amendment to oblige positive consent and eliminate the factual advocacy error, but failed.
Attorney General Shannon Fentiman said the updated law was an “important first step”, but there was still more work to be done.
“We in the criminal law, silence is not equivalent to consent, consent once given can be revoked, defendant’s self-addiction is unreliable by the defendant to show that they are wrong about whether they are wrong Consent was obtained, which was rational, “said Fentyman.
“This makes it clear that the judge will properly command the jury and get better results for the victim,” she said.
However, critics such as Greens MP Amy McMahon preferred a positive model of consent and wanted to push the law further.
Positive consent is described as explicit, informed and voluntary consent to participate in sexual activity. McMahon said such a model has already been implemented in two other states.
“Small changes to the bill’s consent model leave the victims responsible for expressing disagreement or actively resisting,” she told Congress.
“I’m happy to say that the bill can withdraw consent and silence cannot constitute consent, but we can’t introduce a positive model of consent,” she said.
The Liberal National Party (LNP) did not support the Greens amendment, but expressed support for a positive consent model.
Amanda Kam, an LNP spokeswoman for the prevention of sexual violence, said the positive consent model was widely favored among survivors and supporters.
“The bill, in its current form, is a major shift in seeking justice for survivors of sexual violence, holding perpetrators accountable for their actions and increasing the security of the Queensland community. No, “Cam told Congress.
“In addition, the recommendations on which the bill is based do not reflect the views of survivors or survivor advocates,” she said.
so Open letter A group of women and survivors wrote to Prime Minister Anastasia Parasek and Fentyman that the new law was “not fit for purpose.”
“We encourage women in Queensland who have experienced sexual violence to devote their courage and energy to the same protection as women in Tasmania and Victoria,” he said.
The letter requires that the law require people to “enthusiastically agree to sex” and include that “reasonable measures are taken” to ensure their consent.
“In reality, this means that people want to have sex before it happens and that they take steps to ensure consensus,” he said.
Signatories include the Queensland Women’s Justice Department, the Queensland Council of Social Services, and the Queensland Sexual Assault Network.
Angela Lynch, CEO of the Women’s Legal Department, said the new law came from a report by the Queensland Legal Reform Commission, saying, “I can’t hear the survivors and defend rape and women. I couldn’t hear anyone, I just listened to the lawyer. ” .com.au report..
Lynch is concerned that under the new law, rape victims who froze in fear during an attack could interpret their actions as consent.
“I don’t think it’s enough to be frozen, unconscious, or silent,” she said.
“Women don’t believe they agreed. They’re actually scared, but they’re often insisted in court to take it further,” she said.
In discussions in the state legislature, the Queensland Government said it did not deny support for the positive consent model.
Fentyman has already begun a task force review of women’s experiences in the criminal justice system, led by Judge Margaret McMurd of the former Court of Appeals, which is considering a positive consent model.
This means that the new consent law may be replaced within the next 12 months.