: DUAO - Vol 37(3)

DUAO - 2012 - Vol 37(3)

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Developments around the country

DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.

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Sexual Offences against Young People

Benedict Bartl and Noelle Rattray
Tasmania

Following public outrage at the perceived leniency of the law involving sex offences against young persons, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute has released its latest issues paper entitled ‘Sexual Offences Against Young People’. The issues paper is concerned with the defence of mistake as to age where a person has been charged with a sexual offence against a young person and was referred to the Institute by the Attorney-General following a case in which a twelve-year-old girl was prostituted by her mother. The issues paper considers a number of options for reform including the introduction of a ‘no defence’ age, meaning there can be no argument of consent or mistake as to age when the complainant is below the prescribed age (which could be 10, 11, 12 or 13 years old). Another suggestion is that before arguing the mistake as to age defence offenders would have to prove that they took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the young person. The issues paper is available on the TLRI website at www.law.utas.edu.au/reform.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 209

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Seniors Rights guide

Louise Kyle
Victoria

Launched on 14 June, Assets for Care is a new guide for lawyers produced by Seniors Rights Victoria (‘SRV’), to assist older clients at risk of financial abuse.

The focus of the guide, funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board, is situations where assets are transferred in exchange for care. Lawyers have a special role in the prevention of harm arising from these arrangements.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 210

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Charter helping create a fairer, more inclusive Victoria

Ben Schokman and Rachel Ball
Victoria

Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities continues to make a real, practical difference in the lives of Victorians, according to the fifth Charter report tabled in Parliament on 19 June 2012. The full report, as well as a range of consultation reports and reports from previous years, can be found at www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/charterreport. Printed copies are available on request from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 210

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Reforms to WA sex offender registration scheme

Victoria Williams
Western Australia

Sex offender registration schemes require convicted sex offenders to register their personal details with police and report on an ongoing basis. The key objective is to provide law enforcement authorities with up-to-date information as to the whereabouts of sex offenders and other details that may assist in the investigation of future offences. It is also hoped that the ongoing monitoring of registered sex offenders will minimise the opportunity and inclination for reoffending. However, not all sex offenders are the same. In WA, for example, a 60-year-old man who has been convicted of sexually abused a four-year-old child is equally a reportable offender as a 15-year-old boy who has been convicted of having ‘consensual sex’ with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 210

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