The Queensland Government has tabled legislation today to overturn a law that stops people accused of rape from being publicly identified in the media.
If passed, it would then make the Northern Territory the lone Australian jurisdiction with these protections in place.
Queensland’s laws around accused rape
For most cases and in most of Australia, the media can report on people who have been charged with an offence before they stand trial.
However, in Queensland, there is a legal protection for people who have been accused of rape or other sexual offences that prevents the media from reporting on them before the court case.
The Queensland Government wants to change this.
Changes to the law
If passed, the laws would apply to all matters, including to people currently accused of rape.
Under the proposed law, those being accused of a sexual offence could apply to the court for a non-publication order to suppress their names from being shared. This would also apply to their alleged victims.
The courts would decide on the outcome of a non-publication order application. Media would then be notified of non-publication applications made.
Will it pass?
The Labor Government has a majority of seats in Queensland’s one house of Parliament.
That means if all Government members vote for this bill, it will pass.
TDA has contacted the Opposition for comment.