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Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in The laws about what age a young person can validly consent to sex are different in each state and territory. In Victoria, like in the majority of jurisdictions, the age of consent stands at However, a young person aged 16 or 17 cannot validly consent to sex with a person in a position of authority over them.
Like many states, Victoria has what is often referred to as a Romeo and Juliette law. This is a law that allows consensual sex between two young people of a similar age, while criminalising sex between an adult and a young person. The age of consent laws strive to find a balance between recognising the developing sexuality of young people and protecting children from exploitation and abuse by older people.
Any sexual activity without consent is an offence regardless of the age of the participants. Offences relating to sexual activity without consent in Victoria include rape and indecent assault. The Crimes Act states that a person is taken not to have consented to sex if:. Under Victorian law, a person aged 16 or older can validly consent to sex with any other person, except a person who in in a position of authority over him or her.
This means that the general age of consent is A person aged between 12 and 16 can validly consent to sex with a person who is not more than two years older than him or her. A person aged 18 or older can validly consent to a person in a position of authority over him or her.
In this context, the age of consent is This offence carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. It is also an offence, under Section 49E, for a person in a position of care, supervision or authority to sexually touch. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. A person who has care, supervision or authority of is defined in Section 37 as including, but not being limited to:.
Defences exist against offences under these sections where the accused was validly married to the child Section 49Y. It is an offence to sexually penetrate aged under This offence is punishable by a maximum of 25 years and has a standard sentence of 10 years Section 49A. It is an offence to sexually penetrate aged under 16 Section 49B. This offence is punishable by a maximum of 15 years imprisonment and has a standard sentence of 6 years imprisonment.
Persons who are found guilty of certain types of sex offences are required to register under this legislation so that police can keep track of their whereabouts and activities to reduce the chance of their reoffending. Depending on the type and of sex offences committed, a person can be required to remain on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of 8 years, a period of 15 years, or forever.
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Age of consent laws in Australia