Criminal Law (Coercive Control and Affirmative Consent) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

About the Bill 

On 11 October 2023 Hon Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, introduced the Criminal Law (Coercive Control and Affirmative Consent) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 into the Queensland Parliament.  The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for detailed consideration.   

On 16 November 2023, the Committee of the Legislative Assembly resolved to extend the reporting date for the Inquiry to Friday 19 January 2024.

View: Explanatory speech 
View: Bill 
View: Explanatory Notes 
View: Statement of compatibility 

In March 2021, the Queensland Government established the independent Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) to examine coercive control and review the need for a specific offence of commit domestic violence, and the experience of women across the criminal justice system. The Taskforce has released two reports on the issue, which can be found under 'Related Publications' tab.

Report One was released on 2 December 2021 and responds to the first part of the Taskforce’s work examining coercive control and the need for a specific offence of commit domestic violence. 

Report Two was released on 1 July 2022 and focuses on women’s experiences in the criminal justice system as victim-survivors of sexual violence and as accused persons and offenders.

The objectives of the Bill are to:

  • implement the Government’s response to the second tranche of reforms recommended by the Taskforce, in Chapter 3.9 of the Taskforce’s first report, Hear her voice – Report One – Addressing coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland (Report One) (Recommendations 74-79), building on the groundwork established by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023, including by introducing a new offence to criminalise coercive control;
  • give effect to the Government’s response to a range of recommendations from the Taskforce’s second report, Hear her voice – Report Two – Women and girls’ experiences across the criminal justice system (Report Two), relating to domestic and family violence (DFV), sexual violence, publication restrictions and women and girls as accused persons and offenders (Recommendations 7, 43-44, 56, 58-59, 76-77, 80-82, 86, 110 and 126), including amendments to create an affirmative model of consent in Queensland;
  • progress further amendments to abolish or reform particular jury directions (re-examining Recommendations 65 and 66 of the Criminal Justice report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Assault (Royal Commission) in light of Report Two);
  • implement the Government’s response to two related DFV recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service Responses to Domestic and Family Violence Report, A Call for Change (Recommendations 20 and 50); and
  • amend the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (DFVP Act) to allow a court to make an order to extend a police protection notice (PPN) in exceptional circumstances.

The Bill will achieve these policy objectives by implementing reforms in relation to the following:

  • Amendment of Criminal Code
    • Failure to report child sexual offences.
    • Affirmative consent, mistake of fact and stealthing.
    • Jury directions – corroboration.
    • Criminal offence of coercive control.
    • New aggravating factors and domestic violence averments.
  • Amendment of Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 and Domestic and Family Violence Protection Regulation 2023
    • Requirement for court to consider making a temporary protection order.
    • Extension of police protection notices in exceptional circumstances.
    • Court to consider appropriate period for protection order.
    • Media may apply for transcript of DFV applications.
    • Court-based perpetrator diversion scheme.
    • Criminal offence of engaging in domestic violence to aid respondent.
    • Additional standard condition on protection orders and police protection notices.
  • Amendment of Evidence Act 1977, Evidence Regulation 2017 and Recording of Evidence Regulation 2018
    • Improper questions.
    • Exclusion of public and evidence about complainant’s sexual reputation and sexual activities.
    • Jury directions – sexual offences.
    • Sexual offences expert evidence panel pilot.
    • Expansion of preliminary complaint evidence.
    • Prohibited directions.
    • Limits on publishing information in relation to sexual offences.
    • Release of transcript for research purposes.
  • Amendment of the Bail Act and related amendments to the Youth Justice Act 1992
    • Refusal of bail.
  • Amendment of Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 and related amendment to the Youth Justice Act 1992
    • Factors that a court must have regard to when sentencing an offender.

For more in-depth information on the above please refer to the explanatory notes for the Bill.

Committee’s report

The committee is due to table its report on Friday, 19 January 2024. The report will be published here.

Once the committee’s report has been tabled, the Government has three months to respond to the report’s recommendations (if any). At that time, the Government Response will be published here.


Submissions closed:27 October 2023
Public hearings:Monday, 6 November 2023 – 10:00am – Brisbane - program - transcript - broadcast (Part 1) (Part 2)
Wednesday, 8 November 2023 – 10:00am – Brisbane - program - transcript - broadcast (Part 1) (Part 2)
Public briefing:Friday, 10 November 2023 – 3:00pm – Brisbane - program - transcript - broadcast
Report due date:19 January 2024

Further information

Further information including reports, written briefings, correspondence, response to submissions, transcripts and answers to questions taken on notice are available under the Related Publications tab.

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Related Publications

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