Senate debates

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017; In Committee

10:29 am

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move amendments (1) to (6) on sheet 8366 together:

(1) Schedule 1, item 3, page 3 (line 20), omit "a person", substitute "an adult".

(2) Schedule 1, item 26, page 15 (line 19), omit "A person", substitute "An adult".

(3) Schedule 1, item 26, page 16 (line 17), after "person", insert "is an adult and".

(4) Schedule 1, item 26, page 21 (line 2), omit "A person", substitute "An adult".

(5) Schedule 1, item 26, page 21 (line 3), omit "the person", substitute "the adult".

(6) Schedule 1, item 26, page 21 (line 28), omit "A person", substitute "An adult".

As I mentioned in my speech during the second reading debate, we have serious concerns around the, hopefully, unintended implications of this legislation for the people under the age of 18 who will potentially face steep civil penalties under this regime. The government have indicated that the application of these penalties to people under the age of 18 is not their intention; however, to ensure that this unintended consequence does not arise, we seek to have this limitation enshrined in the legislation.

I would like to remind the chamber that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child's general comment No. 10 states:

Children differ from adults in their physical and psychological development, and their emotional and educational needs. Such differences constitute the basis for the lesser culpability of children in conflict with the law. These and other differences are the reasons for a separate juvenile justice system and require a different treatment for children. The protection of the best interests of the child means, for instance, that the traditional objectives of criminal justice, such as repression/retribution, must give way to rehabilitation and restorative justice objectives in dealing with child offenders. This can be done in concert with attention to effective public safety.

The Law Council of Australia also notes:

Financial penalties will rarely be appropriate for children and young people. The Law Council suggests that the civil penalties regime could include not only infringement notices, formal warnings and take down notices, but also diversionary/rehabilitation processes, such as the possibility of a conference, attendance at counselling and participating in courses relating to cyber bullying and sexting.


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