- Dangerous Sexual Offenders Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 passes WA Parliament
Australia's toughest dangerous sexual offender legislation has successfully passed through both houses of State Parliament, fulfilling one of the McGowan Labor Government's key law and order election commitments.
The new laws seek to protect Western Australians from dangerous sexual offenders through a number of key changes to the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006 (WA) and the Bail Act 1982 (WA), including:
- A reversal of the onus of proof so that offenders bear the burden of satisfying the court, on a balance of probabilities, that they will substantially comply with the standard conditions placed on them when they are under supervision in the community;
- A presumption against bail for dangerous sexual offenders who are charged with breaching a supervision order; and
- A new section to provide for an interim supervision order.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"I am pleased that in WA we finally have dangerous sexual offender legislation which is more broadly in line with community expectations.
"We have tried to make this legislation as tough as is constitutionally permissible.
"Under our laws, for the first time ever, the sexual offender will carry the burden of satisfying the court that, on the balance of probabilities, he will comply with the standard conditions.
"The pressure will be on the sexual offender to give or adduce evidence on the review in support of an argument that he is suitable for release into the community.
"This is tougher than many lawyers and academics would like, because it enables the State to extend the time someone is detained for longer than the sentence they have already served.
"The State cannot lock these individuals up indefinitely because every declared dangerous sexual offender has already done the time for their crime, with no discounts or parole.
"Shifting the onus of proof, along with a presumption against bail and the introduction of interim supervision orders, make WA's dangerous sexual offender legislation the toughest in Australia."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800