Page 2314 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Our bill builds upon the commonwealth Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the phenomenon colloquially known as “revenge porn” in 2016, which recommended that all states and territories enact criminal legislation to address the non-consensual recording, sharing and threatening to share of intimate images.
Our bill cannot stand alone. The ACT must complement the national strategy to combat non-consensual sharing and, as such, must also complement the commonwealth’s move towards the implementation of a civil penalties regime.
I also congratulate the shadow attorney-general on his interest in this important issue, and on drafting the Liberal Party’s and his own bill. I am very pleased, of course, that the shadow attorney-general’s bill was revised from its first presentation to include some clauses from my exposure draft in May. Now I hope that the shadow attorney-general and the Liberal Party will support the further refinements that we have made based on the extensive research and wide consultation we have done. If another bill, other than our bill, on this issue is debated, the Greens will work hard to provide robust amendments to the other bill so that all three parties in the Assembly can work together and have the best outcome for everyone in the ACT.
Looking at the bill that I am tabling today, we have done considerable consultation, and our legislation has changed since the initial exposure draft. Over 60 key organisations, stakeholders and academics received copies of our discussion paper and exposure draft. We received submissions from over 17, and this is not an exhaustive list: the Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid ACT, Women’s Centre for Health Matters, Toora Women Inc, the AIDS Action Council, the Australian Privacy Foundation, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, the ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council, Women With Disabilities, National Foundation for Australian Women, the Women’s Services Network, the YWCA, and Doctors Flynn, Henry and Powell, as well as other individuals, including Rhys Michie, who penned the original petition which started this work in the ACT.
I must point out that, while we have taken this feedback on board, we take responsibility particularly for any mistakes that have been made in our draft. Based on this feedback from the academics, community groups, and, helpfully, from the Human Rights Commission, we have refined our bill into something which we believe balances community safety, human rights, our COAG obligations and best practice in combating the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
I will not go through every change and refinement, but I will talk briefly about our most important changes. In the original exposure draft, we included a broad definition of “intimate” that included “an area of the person’s body that, in the person’s circumstances, is private in nature”—a sort of community standards test that aimed to address the gaps highlighted in previous inquiries and research that noted that existing approaches did not sufficiently acknowledge the cultural context when defining “intimate”.