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Minors and online dating laws australia

Minor Dating Laws,Preparation

In Australia, Commonwealth and state and territory laws prohibit 'asking for, accessing, possessing, creating or sharing sexualised images of children and young people under 18'  · There are generally no laws about when a young person can start dating another young person, but there are lots of laws around doing sexual acts with another person  · Australia unveiled plans on Monday to make social media companies obtain parental consent for users under the age of 16, with multimillion dollar fines for failing to Structure of the Bill. The Bill is presented in two Schedules. Schedule 1 amends the Criminal Code Act (Cth) (Criminal Code) to insert a new offence for the preparation or planning  · It is important to understand that the possession or distribution of sexually-oriented images of a minor—anyone under 18 years of age—is a crime; it is a crime that comes with ... read more

If someone has done something without your permission or that has made you feel uncomfortable, this may be sexual abuse. This is NEVER okay. For more information about sexual abuse take a look at this page. You can contact us for free and confidential legal advice here. If someone is found guilty of breaking the laws around sex and consent, they may be convicted of a criminal offence. Sexual offences can carry serious penalties, and a person who has been convicted of a sexual offence against a child may be placed on the Child Sex Offenders Register in the ACT.

If you think you might have broken these laws, or you are worried about the police contacting you, you can contact us for free and confidential legal advice. If you think someone else might have broken these laws and them doing so has affected you, please also contact us. Deciding to start a sexual relationship with someone, or have sex with them, is a big step. And if you say yes and then decide you no longer want to do something, you can stop at any time.

The other person must respect your choice. If they do something sexual with you without your agreement, they may be committing a serious crime. If you are thinking about having sex, please be aware of the risks that are involved with unsafe or unprotected sex. These risks include:. For information about how you can protect yourself from the risks of unsafe sex, you can see your GP or visit one of these websites:.

You can contact us here for free and confidential legal advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also contact the services listed below to talk about anything relating to sex including safe sex, what is considered normal in a relationship, or if you are worried you might be pregnant. You can call the Kids Helpline on 55 for free and private counselling available 24 hours a day, but there can be a wait to get through.

Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT is a sexual and reproductive health clinic and education service for people in the ACT. Their clinic is located at Level One, 28 University Avenue, Canberra, City ACT, You can call the clinic on 02 Canberra Sexual Health Centre is another sexual health clinic, providing free testing and treatment.

They are located at level 4 of Building 8 at the Canberra Hospital. You can call them on , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem.

Just click on the button below. The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you. Sex and dating. For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here.

There are generally no laws about when a young person can start dating another young person, but there are lots of laws around doing sexual acts with another person including online sexual acts. The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills raised some issues relating to the reversal of the legal burden of proof in the proposed offence:.

The offence provision is proposed to be inserted into Subdivision F of Division of the Criminal Code Act As such, the presumption in existing section This provision provides that if a physical element of a relevant offence consists of a person using a carriage service to engage in particular conduct and the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that the person engaged in that conduct, it is presumed, unless the person proves to the contrary, that the person used a carriage service to engage in that conduct.

A defendant bears a legal burden of proof in relation to this matter. As the reversal of the burden of proof undermines the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the committee expects there to be a full justification each time the burden is reversed, with the rights of people affected being the paramount consideration The statement of compatibility gives a justification for imposing a presumption which reverses the legal burden of proof:.

The purpose of this presumption is to address problems encountered by law enforcement agencies in proving beyond reasonable doubt that a carriage service was used to engage in the relevant criminal conduct.

Often evidence that a carriage service was used to engage in the criminal conduct is entirely circumstantial, consisting of evidence, for example, that the defendant's computer had chat logs or social media profile information saved on the hard drive, that the computer was connected to the internet, and that records show the computer accessed particular websites that suggest an association with the material saved on the hard drive The committee notes that the presumption is intended to address problems regarding evidence that a carriage service was used, and notes that this appears to provide a justification as to why the evidential burden of proof needs to be reversed, but not necessarily why the legal burden of proof needs to be reversed.

However, the committee also notes that the relevant requirement that the conduct engaged in uses a carriage service is a jurisdictional requirement that does not relate to the substance of the offence.

Notwithstanding these concerns, the Committee concluded that no response from the Minister was required. Senator Xenophon of the NXT party strongly supports the Bill. The Law Council of Australia supports appropriate measures to ensure that the internet is not used to perpetuate crimes against children. Given this difficulty, there is a risk that investigations or prosecutions may focus upon the character of the accused rather than the character of the actions the accused has undertaken.

Existing There is thus considerable overlap with sexual predation crimes in the Code, though again it may be that a broader range of preparatory conduct is captured by new The submission concluded that the Bill should not be passed. Queensland Family and Child Commission and the Tasmanian Sexual Assault Support Service SASS , have submitted that they are supportive of the Bill. The Explanatory Memorandum states that the Bill will have no financial impact on Government revenue.

The Government considers that the Bill is compatible. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights considers that the Bill does not raise human rights concerns. The previous Bills introduced by Senator Xenophon sought to create a criminal offence relating to online communications with children. Section 3 of the Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill stated:. the object of this Act is to make it a criminal offence for a person over 18 years of age the sender to intentionally misrepresent their age in online communications with a person they reasonably believe to be under 18 years of age the recipient :.

a for the purpose of encouraging the recipient to physically meet with the sender or any other person ; or. b with the intention of committing an offence. The significant difference is that the offence in section Item 2 in Schedule 1 is the key amendment in the Bill.

It would insert new section The Explanatory Memorandum states that this example in no way limits the type of conduct that can be a preparatory act, whether or not that preparatory act involves any kind of misrepresentation.

These offences are themselves preparatory in nature. A child does not have to be harmed before the penalties up to 15 years in prison for procurement and 12 years in prison for grooming apply.

As it is the use of the carriage service that constitutes the criminal conduct in procurement and grooming offences, the child does not have to receive the communication, or indeed be a child, as the sender only needs to have the belief that the recipient is under 16 years. The Explanatory Memorandum for this Bill states that proposed new section The offence will capture preparatory conduct, irrespective of whether a recipient child is communicated with or identified.

An example of conduct that does not involve communication with an identified child is the creation of a social media profile by a predatory adult with the intention of using that profile to establish an online relationship with a child as a preparatory step to harming or engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Because the offence does not require a specific recipient to be identified or communicated with, technical provisions that set out liability and evidentiary requirements in section Neither are defences of mistake of age set out in section For example, a preparatory act may include a person using social media to lie about their age, profession or an event in an attempt to lure a child to a meeting for the purposes of causing a child harm or procuring or engaging in sexual activity with a child.

The focus on the conduct of the adult will ensure the offence applies where a law enforcement officer assumes the identity of a fictitious child to interact with predatory adults over the internet and social media.

The predatory adult will be engaging in criminal conduct where he or she has an intention to cause harm to, procure or engage in sexual activity with the fictitious child. Section Proposed new subparagraph Physical harm or harm to a person's mental health, whether temporary or permanent. However, it does not include being subjected to any force or impact that is within the limits of what is acceptable as incidental to social interaction or to life in the community.

Unconsciousness, pain, disfigurement, infection with a disease and any physical contact with a person that the person might reasonably object to in the circumstances whether or not the person was aware of it at the time.

Significant psychological harm, but does not include mere ordinary emotional reactions such as those of only distress, grief, fear or anger. The Explanatory Memorandum explains that acts done in preparation of causing or planning to cause harm to a child includes circumstances where there is an intent to harm the child, but no evidence of an intent to engage in sexual activity:. The offence captures conduct preparatory to a broader range of harm than currently exists and recognises that not all preparatory conduct is linked with an intention to engage in sexual activity with the child.

The offence is not meant to capture trivial physical contact or ordinary emotional reactions and allows for judgements to be made about what conduct is acceptable or incidental to social interaction or life in the community. This is problematic however because the Bill in its current form could lead to a high number of persons charged with the offence due to police discretion being exercised, and deciding that the conduct was considered outside the realm of trivial physical contact or ordinary emotional reactions.

It is then left to the prosecution to consider the reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution. An example of preparing or planning online sexual activity with a child would be an offender who creates an online gaming profile as part of a plan to masturbate in front of a web cam while a child watches through the online game. As a telecommunications offence, Category A geographical jurisdiction, as set out in section Item 3 of Schedule 2 of the Bill would amend the TIA Act to provide that the proposed offence in new section The effect would be that law enforcement agencies could apply for a telecommunications service warrant where the information obtained under the warrant would be likely to assist in connection with the investigation by the agency of the proposed offence.

In everyday terms, this definition includes the internet, text messages, email, telephone, faxes, radio and TV. com website, 29 March Explanatory Memorandum , Criminal Code Amendment Protecting Minors Online Bill , p. Criminal Code amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill ; Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill and Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill an amended version of the earlier Bill.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill , The Senate, Canberra, 30 June ; Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill , The Senate, Canberra, 27 June ; Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to A Minor Bill , The Senate, Canberra, August Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Scrutiny digest , 5, , The Senate, Canberra, 10 May , p.

Law Council of Australia, Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment Protecting Minors Online Bill , 3 May , p. G Urbas, Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment Protecting Minors Online Bill , 4 May Australian Lawyers Alliance, Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment Protecting Minors Online Bill , 4 May , p.

Also note that SASS did raise a question about how the Bill aligns with certain provisions in the Tasmanian Criminal Code Act which allow for the consent of the person against whom a crime is alleged to have been committed to be a defence, if at the time when the crime was alleged to have been committed, the person was of or above the age of 15 years and the accused person was not more than five years older.

Explanatory Memorandum , op. The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found at page 4 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Report , 4, , The Senate, Canberra, 9 May , p. Criminal Code Amendment Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor Bill Subsection For the offence to apply the recipient must be under 16 years or the sender must believe this to be the case.

In general, there are no laws that say when a young person can start dating another person but there are laws about doing sexual activity with another person, which we explain below!

However, there are laws which make grooming children under the age of 16 illegal. In the ACT grooming can occur where an adult encourages a young person who is under 16 years old to take part in or watch a sexual act, or show a young person who is under 16 pornography.

These laws can also apply to online relationships. If you are worried about a relationship with an adult including an online relationship , or communications you are receiving, you can contact us for free and confidential advice. A sexual act can include many different types of activities, such as:.

Consent is required for any sexual act, not just those involving penetration. There are also special laws applying to recording a sexual activity with another person or sending or receiving sexual pictures or videos showing a young person who is under For more information about these laws please see our pages on sexting and image-based abuse.

It is useful to think of consent as an enthusiastic yes! It is never okay for someone to assume you have given consent or to force you to keep going if you want to stop.

You can also change your mind or withdraw your consent at any time. Consent is really important, and we recommend you check out our page on consent if you are thinking of having sex or doing something sexual with another person. The age of consent is the age at which the law says a person can agree to sexual activity.

If you are under the age of consent, the law says that you cannot legally agree to sexual activity, and any person who does something sexual with you has broken the law. In the ACT, it is never legal for a person to do a sexual activity with someone who is under 10 years old. When you are 16 years and older, you can have sex with another person aged 16 or older if you both agree to it.

However, you cannot consent to sexual activity with someone who has special care over you, who is supervising you or who has authority over you, like a teacher, sports coach, youth worker, counsellor, foster carer, religious instructor, health professional, police officer or employer while you are years old.

It is also a crime for a person to have sexual intercourse with a close family member, including a parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild — even if there is consent. If you are 24 or under and you have any questions about these laws, you can contact us for free and confidential legal advice here.

If someone has done something without your permission or that has made you feel uncomfortable, this may be sexual abuse. This is NEVER okay. For more information about sexual abuse take a look at this page. You can contact us for free and confidential legal advice here. If someone is found guilty of breaking the laws around sex and consent, they may be convicted of a criminal offence.

Sexual offences can carry serious penalties, and a person who has been convicted of a sexual offence against a child may be placed on the Child Sex Offenders Register in the ACT. If you think you might have broken these laws, or you are worried about the police contacting you, you can contact us for free and confidential legal advice.

If you think someone else might have broken these laws and them doing so has affected you, please also contact us. Deciding to start a sexual relationship with someone, or have sex with them, is a big step. And if you say yes and then decide you no longer want to do something, you can stop at any time.

The other person must respect your choice. If they do something sexual with you without your agreement, they may be committing a serious crime. If you are thinking about having sex, please be aware of the risks that are involved with unsafe or unprotected sex. These risks include:. For information about how you can protect yourself from the risks of unsafe sex, you can see your GP or visit one of these websites:. You can contact us here for free and confidential legal advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also contact the services listed below to talk about anything relating to sex including safe sex, what is considered normal in a relationship, or if you are worried you might be pregnant. You can call the Kids Helpline on 55 for free and private counselling available 24 hours a day, but there can be a wait to get through. Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT is a sexual and reproductive health clinic and education service for people in the ACT. Their clinic is located at Level One, 28 University Avenue, Canberra, City ACT, You can call the clinic on 02 Canberra Sexual Health Centre is another sexual health clinic, providing free testing and treatment.

They are located at level 4 of Building 8 at the Canberra Hospital. You can call them on , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem.

Just click on the button below. The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you. Sex and dating. For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here. There are generally no laws about when a young person can start dating another young person, but there are lots of laws around doing sexual acts with another person including online sexual acts.

If you think you are ready to start having a sexual relationship with someone, it is important to be aware of the laws that say how old you have to be, what a sexual act is, and what consent is. Remember, it is NEVER okay for someone to force you to do something sexual without your permission, and you have the right to say NO at any time. For more information about sexual abuse take a look at our page on this topic. Navigate this page. Share this article.

Date Published January 30, Last Updated June 30, References Crimes Act ACT Crimes Child Sex Offenders Act ACT. Got a question you can't get answered? Get help now. Select Your State or Territory The law is different in each state and territory.

Criminal Code Amendment (Protecting Minors Online) Bill 2017,Alcohol and other drugs

 · It is important to understand that the possession or distribution of sexually-oriented images of a minor—anyone under 18 years of age—is a crime; it is a crime that comes with Structure of the Bill. The Bill is presented in two Schedules. Schedule 1 amends the Criminal Code Act (Cth) (Criminal Code) to insert a new offence for the preparation or planning  · There are generally no laws about when a young person can start dating another young person, but there are lots of laws around doing sexual acts with another person  · Generally, in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, there’s no minimum age for most types of casual or part The law goes on to spell out that "if the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 or younger and is no more than four years older than Missing: australia  · It is illegal to have sexual intercourse with someone age That includes things you may not think of as intercourse. It is illegal to have sexual contact or interourse with Missing: australia ... read more

For other sexual activities, the criminal legislation relating to different types of sexual behaviours and interactions varies across Australian jurisdictions. The offence captures conduct preparatory to a broader range of harm than currently exists and recognises that not all preparatory conduct is linked with an intention to engage in sexual activity with the child. London: Blackwell Wiley. Canberra: eSafety Commissioner. If you think you are ready to start having a sexual relationship with someone, it is important to be aware of the laws that say how old you have to be, what a sexual act is, and what consent is. Crimes Act Section 61HE.

Details of the inquiry are at the inquiry homepage. The Law Council of Australia supports appropriate measures to ensure that the internet is not used to perpetuate crimes against children, minors and online dating laws australia. If you are a child or young person who wants to learn more about sex, consent and respectful relationships, see the following websites: ReachOut has information on sex and relationships for young people. Beginning to date can be very challenging to tackle, not just for teenagers, but also for their parents. References Child Protection Offenders Registration Act NSW Crimes Act NSW.

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