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 29 reference to the restitution and compensation provisions under s88 of the Sentencing Act (NT).63 3.50 Given the above, the NT Legal Aid Commission proposed that the Bill specifically include such power for a court to order that the offender pay money by way of compensation to the victim.64 The Department expressed the view that it was unclear why the NT Legal Aid Commission considered that s 88 of the Sentencing Act (NT) would not be applicable to the offences in the Bill, noting that: There would seem to be scope under section 88(1)(a) for a court to order compensation for economic loss, such as loss of income or the costs of counselling, providing the victim had suffered an injury in the course of or in connection with the commission of an offence.65 However, it is also unclear whether injury would extend to emotional or psychological conditions. The Committee notes that the two cases cited as examples by the Department both involved compensation orders where the victim had suffered a physical injury.66 3.51 The Department further advised that: If the Committee was of mind to make a recommendation relating to compensation, AGD emphasises that any amendment to section 88 of the Sentencing Act would require stakeholder consultation, including consideration of risks and benefits. Any amendment would have an impact not only in relation to the offences proposed in the NT Bill but would have general application. It is beyond the scope of the NT Bill to include such an amendment. Any recommendation should be premised as being for longer term consideration by the Government. Finally, AGD notes that it would not be appropriate to include a provision such as section 97(1) of the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 (NSW) in the NT Bill. The Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 (NSW) is an Act of general application, not specific to a particular offence. The Department also noted that, as in the case under the Sentencing Act (NT), the term loss in the NSW legislation would most likely refer to economic loss.67 Committees Comments 3.52 Given the nature of image-based abuse offences, the Committee agrees with the NT Legal Aid Commissions view that it is particularly apt to empower courts to impose compensation orders in appropriate cases. However, the Committee is not convinced that section 88(1) of the Sentencing Act (NT) is an appropriate mechanism for this since victims will not necessarily have suffered a loss or injury. The Committee is also mindful of the Departments advice regarding any amendments to section 88. 63 Northern Territory Law Reform Committee, Report on the Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images, Report No. 43, November 2016, https://justice.nt.gov.au/attorney-general-and-justice/law/report-on-the-nonconsensual-sharing-of-intimate-images, pp.20-1 64 Mr Russell Goldflam, Committee Transcript, 14 February 2018, p.4 65 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.12 66 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.12 67 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.12 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/committees/spsc/CCA#TP https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP
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