Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 26 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

That means, effectively, that we should go back to knowingly conducting a business or being reckless about whether the business involves the sexual servitude of others. Mr Stanhope raised the question of a bank. Obviously, for a bank to be guilty of that it would have to know what the business was being conducted for or be so reckless about it that it came within the act here. I would think that most banks would be very wary of those types of things. I think that is really quite clear.

In terms of the other issue raised by the scrutiny of bills committee report, and we have all only just got it, again I say to members that this legislation is model legislation. It has already been enacted in South Australia. Indeed, the particular proposed subsections referred to, 92ZB (1) and 92ZB (2), basically need two elements in terms of the committing of an offence of sexual servitude, that is, if a person's conduct causes someone else to enter into or remain in sexual servitude and, as well, the person intends to cause or is reckless about causing someone else to enter into or remain in sexual servitude.

I have already read out proposed subsection 92ZB (2), which provides that someone commits an offence if that person conducts a business that involves the sexual servitude of others and knows that, or is reckless about whether, the business involves the sexual servitude of others. That merely reflects what one of the fundamental tenets of the criminal law is all about, that is, that there has to be mens rea, and mens rea is basically criminal intent. However, criminal intent can include recklessness, and this provision is actually putting that in there.

There are a number of offences where, quite clearly, recklessness is terribly important. The offence of culpable driving is an example, Mr Speaker. I do not think that there would be too many defendants, certainly there were not too many in my experience, who would go into a car intending to seriously injure or kill someone as a result of their driving. It would be a different offence if they did that. More likely than not they would probably be charged with murder, malicious wounding or something similar.

But with culpable driving it is quite clear that the actions taken are deemed to be reckless to amount to an offence. Often with that offence which I have given as an example of someone who drinks to excess and, as a result of their impaired driving ability, has a collision and kills someone or seriously injures someone, the court deems that that person is guilty of culpable driving. Those types of things are indicative of just where recklessness is very much a part of these offences.

I do not find any cause for alarm there. Indeed, I would bring to Mr Stanhope's attention the fact that to commit an offence there are two elements to meet and they are quite clearly set out here. This piece of legislation is the result of a lot of effort and a lot of consultation, as is everything in the model criminal code. A lot of work has gone into that. I understand that the various groups which have seen it, including groups in which one would expect people to have a concern, such as legal aid groups, are quite comfortable with it.

I understand as well that they are quite comfortable with the definition of "offensive weapon". As Mr Stanhope has just tabled an amendment, I will be quite happy after the bill is agreed to in principle to have the debate adjourned to a later hour this day to enable me to have a close look at what he is proposing there. We can then commence

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .