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 27 Establish a complaints and objections system in relation to the nonconsensual sharing of intimate images to be administered by the eSafety Commissioner (the Commissioner). Provide the Commissioner with powers to issue a removal notice requiring end-users, hosting service providers, or providers of a social media service, relevant electronic service or designated internet service, to remove an intimate image from a service. Provide the Commissioner with the power to give a person a remedial direction, directed towards ensuring the person does not contravene the prohibition on the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Establish a civil penalty regime giving the Commissioner the discretion to take enforcement action under various Parts of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014 (the Regulatory Powers Act) if there has been a contravention of the prohibition on the non-consensual sharing of an intimate image or a remedial direction, or a failure to comply with a removal notice. Allow the Commissioner to seek a civil penalty order, issue an infringement notice, obtain an injunction or enforce an undertaking under the Regulatory Powers Act, or issue a formal warning under the Online Safety Act for contraventions of the civil penalty provisions.54 3.44 In light of the above, and not wishing to establish a competing regime, the Department advised that a take-down power wider than that in proposed section 208AE was not seen as feasible or desirable.55 The Department also noted that neither the Victorian nor South Australian legislation incorporates a take-down provision.56 Committees Comments 3.45 As highlighted by a number of witnesses, the Committee acknowledges that there is a limit as to what the states and territories can do in this area. However, the Committee also considers that there is merit in empowering the Northern Territory Police, or the individual whose intimate image has been posted, to apply to the Local Court for an ex parte injunctive order to take-down, and not permit the republication of, the intimate image. 3.46 Given that it may be some months before cases of this nature are settled, such a mechanism may well limit the extent to which the offending image is distributed. Moreover, the extent to which the proposed Commonwealth complaints and objections system will be able to effect a rapid and essentially immediate response is, as yet, unknown. The Committee is also mindful that, as stated in Principle 2 of the National Principles: 54 Explanatory Memorandum, Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017 (Cwlth), https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s1113, p.5 55 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.11 56 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.10 https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s1113 https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP