You are here:

Victoria's new sexual offence laws: An introduction

In 2013, the department publicly released the Review of Sexual Offences: Consultation Paper. Following consultation on the paper’s proposals for reform, the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Act 2014 was passed by Parliament in October 2014. This Act makes a number of improvements to Victoria’s sexual offence laws, including rape and sexual assault. The reforms commenced operation on 1 July 2015.

Among the most important reforms are:

  • a clear, simple and consistent drafting style for the offences of rape and sexual assault
  • a new fault element in rape and sexual assault: the accused does not reasonably believe that the complainant is consenting
  • making jury directions in rape and sexual assault trials better tailored to the specifics of each case
  • a new ‘course of conduct charge’, which will assist in the prosecution of people who engage in repeated and systematic sexual abuse over a period of time.

This document provides an introduction to these reforms. It is primarily designed to assist the judiciary, lawyers and police in applying the new laws, and may also be a useful tool for members of the community who are interested in better understanding the law in this area.

New Window These link(s) will launch in a new browser window.

Author: Criminal Law Review, Department of Justice & Regulation
Publisher: Criminal Law Review, Department of Justice & Regulation
Date of Publication: 2015
Copyright: State of Victoria, Department of Justice & Regulation, 2015


Get Adobe Reader Get Open Office You may need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader or Open Office to view the document(s) on this page. Get Adobe® Acrobat® Reader (External link) Get Open Office (External link)

If you would like to receive this publication in a more accessible format, you can request it via our website feedback form.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags

The department acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.