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Canberra Today 22°/26° | Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Clearer sexual consent laws passed in Canberra

THE ACT Legislative Assembly has today (May 5) passed reforms of sexual consent laws, ensuring that consent must be actively and affirmatively communicated.

The Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2022, put forward by Labor MLA Dr Marisa Paterson, introduced a legal definition of consent into the Crimes Act 1900, where consent is based on a free and voluntary agreement.

“By making it clear that consent needs to be sought and given, it changes the status quo when it comes to engaging in sexual activity. No longer are we presuming that a person is consenting unless they indicate they are not,” said Dr Paterson.

The Bill expressly recognises that consent is not to be presumed, that people have a right to choose not to participate in sexual activity, and that when engaging in consensual sexual activity it involves ongoing and mutual communication and decision making.

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

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