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Revenge Porn – NSW Legislation and Federal Reform


New South Wales

Since August 2017 in New South Wales, perpetrators of intimate images abuse face a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and fines up to $11,000.

An intimate image is defined by the Crimes Act as:

  • an image of a person’s private parts, or of a person engaged in a private act, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy, or;
  • an image that has been altered to appear to show a person’s private parts, or a person engaged in a private act, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy.

In New South Wales it is an offence to record, distribute or threaten to record or distribute intimate image(s) under the changes to Division 15C of the Crimes Act; all of which carries the exact same maximum penalty of three years imprisonment, $11,000 or both.

Federal, Other States and Territories

Throughout Australia, there are inconsistencies in State based legislation as to how this offence is defined and punished. In Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania there is no specific legislation that prohibits this offence, whilst in the other States and Territories, penalties and definitions vary.

Federally, the offence is defined and prosecuted under the section 474.17 Criminal Code Act as using a carriage service to harass or cause offence. However, in an article published by the ABC on 10 November 2017, it was revealed that the Federal Government is planning to introduce new legislation by the end of 2017 that will address this issue.

This proposed legislation is set to introduce significant fines that would supersede the current inconsistent State based legislation, and introduce penalties to those regions that are currently without specific legislation.

The thought behind this change, as discussed by the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, is to introduce a civil penalty scheme, which would “give our office more powers to issue take down orders and the like… and it could again help take out [for] the victim, to prosecute these expensive cases and get them the relief that they’re looking for.”

Been charged with an offence?

If you have been charged with an offence related to the recording or distribution of intimate images, it is important that you receive timely and professional legal advice, as the penalties for these types of offences are very serious. If so, please contact Armstrong Legal immediately on 1300 168 676 for an obligation free consultation with one of our Criminal Lawyers to receive advice and plan your defence.

Image Credit – Ikeskinen © 123RF.com

Written by Tyson Brown on April 6, 2018

Tyson has a down to earth, straightforward approach to life and the law, one which is well received by all who meet him. Tyson has the ability to relate to all clients on a personal level, having spent many years prior to his legal career in customer service and hospitality. View Tyson's profile


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