AUS: NSW adopts affirmative consent in sexual assault laws. What does this mean?

Article here. Excerpt:

'New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman has announced a suite of reforms to consent law, following a two-and-a-half year review by the Law Reform Commission.

The review was prompted by survivor-advocate Saxon Mullins, who endured two trials and two appeals, only to end up with no legal resolution to her rape case. Since then, Mullins has advocated for affirmative consent.

However, the final report from the commission, released in November last year, failed to recommend this standard. Despite this, Speakman has stood alongside Mullins with the promise of a bill that goes beyond the recommendations of the commission — and will make affirmative consent the law in NSW.
This does not, as some may claim over the next few months as we see this bill progressing through parliament, reverse the onus of proof. People accused of sexual assault will continue to be afforded their right to the presumption of innocence.

However, this bill does place an evidential burden on an accused person who seeks to raise a defence of reasonable belief in consent to show they took steps. The onus remains on the prosecution to disprove this once the defence has discharged its evidential burden.'

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Previously in rape prosecutions, when consent was the core issue, the accused could rely on the defense that they reasonably believed that the alleged victim consented. Whether or not that was a reasonable belief was based on the evidence surrounding the event including evidence from the parties involved, forensic evidence like bruising/trauma and witness statements from those who observed the parties either before or after the event.

What these proposed amendments do is shift that onus to proving that the accused took active steps confirm consent, before they can rely on the defense that they had reasonable belief that the alleged victim had consented. This amendment stops the plea of reasoable belief in it's tracks, until the accused can prove they took those steps, and this is the problem. This cannot be proven unless there is a witness in the room.

Thus those women's advocates who say this isn't changing the onus of proof, are not being truthful. These amendments effectively stop the defense of reasonable belief, unless there is a witness (in which case the defense is not required), or a recording (likely to result of further charges under other laws).

So NSW has effective reduced rape trials to GUILTY WHENEVER ACCUSED. Great move for weaponising sexual relations in NSW. You'd have to have rocks in your head to have sex with a woman in NSW.

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All sex is rape unless the man can prove it's not.

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