Current and proposed sexual consent laws in Australia
The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (the Committee) in relation to current and proposed sexual consent laws in Australia.
The Law Council has selectively addressed aspects of the Committee’s terms of reference, focussing on areas aligned with the specific skills and expertise of its Constituent Bodies and expert advisory committees.
The Law Council acknowledges the impetus for a national evaluation of sexual consent laws, which has been driven by some of the following recent developments, including but not limited to:
- community debate and subsequent law reform consideration prompted by the experience of Saxon Mullins in NSW;1
- the ‘Teach us Consent’ campaign launched in 2021 by Chanel Contos, and calls for more holistic and earlier consent education in Australia;2 and
- the #LetHerSpeak campaign in relation to victim-survivor gag laws in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Victoria, enabling 17 survivors—such as Grace Tame—to tell their stories without risk of prosecution.3
1 ‘I am that girl,’ Four Corners (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 8 May 2018).
2 Emma Brancatisano, ‘Consent education has reached an ‘important milestone’ in Australia. Here’s what experts want to see next,’ SBS News (Online, 9 March 2022).
3 Nina Funnell, #LetHerSpeak, ‘Why we advocate,’ (undated).