New South Wales to harden sex abuse punishments

New South Wales to harden sex abuse punishments

By Nicholas Everard

The New South Wales State Government is implementing extensive reforms to current child sex offender convictions and punishments, following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Abuse.

Speaking to media this week, Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian said her Government has accepted majority of the Royal Comission’s criminal justice recommendations.

“New South Wales continues to lead the nation in its response to the Royal Commission by introducing one of the state’s largest ever criminal reform packages,” she said.

“These historic reforms are designed to deliver survivors the justice they deserve and impose tougher penalties on offenders for heir appalling abuse of children.”

“New South Wales will be the first state or territory to provide a comprehensive response to the recommendations…”

What are the changes?

The Royal Commission made 85 recommendations for State and Territory leaders to consider when changing sex offender laws.

According to Attorney General Mark Speakman, these recommendations can be categorised into three sections.

“The New South Wales Government will be adopting the vast majority of the recommendations,” he said. “The first [category] is new offenses, the second is strengthening existing offenses and the third is changing sentencing practises.”

Under the reforms, the New South Wales Government has introduced:

  • A maximum penalty of life in prison for offenders
  • New offences for failure to report abuse or failure to protect a child
  • A change in court not being able to take into account an offender’s good character or reputation when sentencing for historic offences.

Mr Speakman details these changes below:

Mr Speakman believes previous laws are too lenient and reforms are needed across the country.

“It has been letting down children from a punishment view point and a prevention view point,” he said. “New South Wales will be the first state or territory to provide a comprehensive response to the recommendations that the Royal Commission has made about our criminal justice system.”

How New South Wales is leading the way

In addition to increasing sentences and hardening existing laws,  the New South Wales Government is doing more to improve the lives of child sexual assault victims.

 

The State Government will formally respond the Royal Commissioner’s recommendations in June.

About author

earche04
earche04 66 posts

Erin joined the NRN team straight after graduating from a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University in 2016.

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NRN Bulletin 15/10/12

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