Social Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017 March 2018
Tabled paper 650
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Ngaree Ah Kit
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Examination of the Bill 25 3.36 For an offence to be considered serious for the purposes of s 39 of the Youth Justice Act, the Committee heard that it must be prescribed. That is, it must be included in the Youth Justice Regulations which would be subject to the advice of the Executive Council.46 However, as stated by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, when introducing the Bill: The offences in new sections 208AB and 208AC will not be prescribed as serious offences for the purpose of section 39 of the Youth Justice Act. This means that the first recourse for police dealing with a complaint against a young person will be a warning or diversion, not prosecution.47 The Department further advised that the Guidelines of the Director of Public Prosecutions incorporate specific considerations that would need to be taken into account when determining whether to prosecute a child.48 Committees Comments 3.37 Given the Attorney-General and Minister for Justices assurance that it is not intended that the offences under this part be prescribed as serious, the fact that no other legislation in the Northern Territory incorporates a provision that explicitly states that an offence is not serious for the purpose of s 39 of the Youth Justice Act, and the Departments advice regarding matters that must be taken into consideration when determining whether to prosecute a child, the Committee does not consider that proposed section 208AD warrants amendment. Rectification Orders 3.38 Proposed section 208AE empowers a court to order a person found guilty of an offence under this Division to take reasonable action to remove, retract, recover, delete or destroy any intimate images related to the offence within a stated period. Subsection 208AE(2) introduces an offence whereby breaches of an order attract a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment. 3.39 The Committee heard that, given the impact distributing or threatening to distribute intimate images without consent has on victims, waiting until the offender has been found guilty is too late. As the Top End Womens Legal Service noted: the first issue for a client approaching our service is, I need it taken down and I need it taken down now for a number of our clients it is actually that vortex of domestic family violence, which is often around coercion and control. The fact that police have been involved but the image has continued to remain up there means that dynamic is still in place. The earlier there can be an appropriate order Sharing of Intimate Images, Report No. 43, November 2016, https://justice.nt.gov.au/attorney-general-andjustice/law/report-on-the-non-consensual-sharing-of-intimate-images, p.34 46 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, pp.8-9 47 Parliamentary Record, (Hansard) and Minutes of Proceedings, 13th Assembly, Debates, 23/11/2017, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/463202/DEBATES-DAY-3-23-NOVEMBER2017.pdf, p.7 48 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.8 https://justice.nt.gov.au/attorney-general-and-justice/law/report-on-the-non-consensual-sharing-of-intimate-images https://justice.nt.gov.au/attorney-general-and-justice/law/report-on-the-non-consensual-sharing-of-intimate-images https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP https://parliament.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/463202/DEBATES-DAY-3-23-NOVEMBER-2017.pdf https://parliament.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/463202/DEBATES-DAY-3-23-NOVEMBER-2017.pdf https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP