The Law Society welcomes today’s announcement by the WA Government that it has instigated two major reviews of WA’s sexual assault laws, to be undertaken by the Law Reform Commission of WA and the Department of Justice.
The Law Reform Commission, chaired by highly respected former Supreme Court judge, the Hon Lindy Jenkins, will review the sexual offence laws contained in the Criminal Code, including whether the concept of “affirmative consent” should be included.
A second review will be run concurrently by the Department of Justice, through the Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime, examining the end-to-end criminal justice process for victims of sexual offending, from reporting an offence to the release from custody of the offender.
The State Attorney-General, the Hon John Quigley MLA said that he was “acutely aware that we need to continue to modernise our laws and processes to assist victim-survivors to get justice in every way we can”.
Law Society President Rebecca Lee said, “We support the review of WA’s sexual offence laws and look forward to being provided with an opportunity to participate in both the Law Reform Commission and the Department of Justice’s consultation processes. This is a valuable opportunity to walk beside victim-survivors and the community in general, to ensure any draft legislation released as part of preparing the report to Government is reflective of and achieves current community standards.”
The Law Society of Western Australia has developed a cultural change framework for the profession, providing tools to help address sexual harassment in the workplace. Called ‘Change the Culture’, this programme offers the profession valuable resources. Tailored training is also available for individuals and law firms to undertake as a means of taking action to shift the culture.
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The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.