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
Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017 30 Similarly, the Committee acknowledges that inclusion of a provision such as section 97(1) of the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 (NSW) would not be appropriate. 3.53 As proposed by the NT Legal Aid Commission, the Committee considers that the Bill should include provision for a court to order compensation that is specific to the offences under Division 7A and covers both any loss or harm sustained by the victim. The Committee notes that reference to harm rather than injury is more pertinent as it takes into consideration psychological harm. Pursuant to section 1A(3) of the Criminal Code Act (NT) harm to a persons mental health includes significant psychological harm, but does not include mere ordinary emotional reactions such as those of distress, grief, fear or anger. Recommendation 5 The Committee recommends that the Bill be amended to include provision for a court to order compensation in the following terms: A court may order a person found guilty by the court of an offence under this Division to pay compensation to the aggrieved for any loss or harm sustained through, or by reason of, the offence. Privacy of Victims 3.54 The NT Legal Aid Commission raised concerns regarding the privacy of victims and suggested that there should be specific provisions in the Bill similar to that afforded to victims of sexual offences pursuant to section 6 of the Sexual Offences (Evidence and Procedure) Act (NT), which provides that: [A] report made or published concerning an examination of witnesses or a trial shall not reveal the name, address, school or place of employment of a complainant or any other particular likely to lead to the identification of a complainant, unless the court makes an order to the contrary.68 Ms Caitlin Weatherby-Fell noted that the Top End Womens Legal Service endorsed the NT Legal Aid Commissions submission in this respect.69 As noted previously, Principle 2 of the National Principles states that: The protection and respect of victims and minimisation of harm to victims is essential in responding to the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.70 3.55 While open justice is a fundamental principle of the common law, as is the case elsewhere in Australian, pursuant to section 57 of the Evidence Act (NT) courts are empowered to prohibit the publication of evidence or the names of parties to proceedings where it is in the interests of justice to do so.71 The Top End Womens 68 NT Legal Aid Commission, Submission No. 1, p.4 69 Ms Caitlin Weatherby-Fell, Committee Transcript, 14 February 2018, p.11 70 Law, Crime and Community Safety Council, National Statement of Principles Relating to the Criminalisation of the Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images, https://www.ag.gov.au/CrimeAndCorruption/Cybercrime/Documents/National-statement-of-principlescriminalisation-non-consensual-sharing-intimate-images.PDF, p. 2 71 Department of the Attorney-General and Justice, Answers to Written Questions, 13 February 2018, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP, p.13 https://www.ag.gov.au/CrimeAndCorruption/Cybercrime/Documents/National-statement-of-principles-criminalisation-non-consensual-sharing-intimate-images.PDF https://www.ag.gov.au/CrimeAndCorruption/Cybercrime/Documents/National-statement-of-principles-criminalisation-non-consensual-sharing-intimate-images.PDF https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/spsc/CCA#TP