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Protect young people from exploitation by trusted adults

Eligibility - Queensland citizens

Principal Petitioner:

Beryl Spencer
108 Spencer Road

Total Signatures - 204

Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament

Posting Date: 10/08/2012

Closing Date: 28/11/2012

Tabled Date: 29/11/2012

Responded By: Hon Jarrod Bleijie MP on 7/01/2013

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

The petition of residents of the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House the following.


Section 222(8) of the Criminal Code (Qld) currently provides a defence to incest where the persons involved are entitled to be lawfully married.  This defence means that a person who is not the natural father or mother of a person but is nonetheless in a parental role and position of trust has a defence to incest.


In R v Rose [2009] QCA 83 the Court of Appeal found that s.222(8) of the Criminal Code was a defence for a person who had been the fiancé (defacto) of a child's mother, from when the child was 12 years old. The court found that the appellant regarded the complainant as his "daughter and she regarded him as her father" and that the appellant "was in a position of trust" and he "abused that trust".  Nonetheless, as the offences occurred after the marriageable age, the defence was open.


Section 222(8) is a serious defect to the law and allows a failure to protect children from sexual abuse by step-parents and others in positions of trust, it also fails to meet our obligations under Article 3, 4 & 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1989).  Other State laws such as the Victorian Crimes Act 1958 include unequivocal provisions.


Your petitioners therefore request the House to urgently amend s.222(8) of the Criminal Code.