Bill to implement Royal Commission Recommendations passes House of Assembly

Elise Archer, Attorney General

Our Government’s strong commitment to keeping children and young people safe has taken another step forward today with the passing of the Justice Miscellaneous (Royal Commission Amendments) Bill 2022 in the House of Assembly.

The Bill amends several Acts relating to the prosecution of sexual offences, providing better access to justice for those affected by sexual violence, while holding people to account for failing to protect our children and better reflecting the nature of offending perpetrated by those in positions of authority.

The Bill creates new crimes for people in positions of authority, including specific crimes where a person in a position of authority sexually abuses a child and where a person in authority ‘fails to protect’ a child from a substantial risk of sexual abuse.

It also:

  • removes all remaining limitation periods that apply to child sexual abuse offences in Tasmania;
  • facilitates greater admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence in child sexual abuse trials consistent with model provisions agreed by state and territory governments; and
  • extends the classes of vulnerable witnesses who are eligible for special measures to support them to give evidence.

This is the latest action taken by our Government in our ongoing work to advance the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, and better protect children and young people in Tasmania.

Our Government is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our children and young people, and I look forward to the Bill’s passage through the Legislative Council’s when Parliament resumes in 2023.

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