Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 (NSW)


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The ‘Serious Sex Offenders Act’ enables the Attorney General to apply for ‘continuing detention orders’ to keep ‘serious sex offenders’ in custody beyond their prison terms.

It thereby undermines the certainty of a person’s prison sentence and takes power away from the courts, placing it in the hands of the government of the day.

This is extremely dangerous because it means that media pressures or community outrage can decide whether a person’s prison sentence is extended, rather than sentences being determined by an independent court system that has properly considered the case.

The Act also enables the Attorney General to make applications to continue the supervision of ‘serious sex offenders’ beyond their probation periods, which also undermines the certainty of the sentencing process and thereby the power of an independent judiciary.

Another concern is that a person cannot apply for legal costs or take legal action even if the Attorney General’s application had no basis at all, regardless of whether the person’s reputation was defamed through a frivolous, vexatious or entirely politically-motivated application.

In practice, the Act allows the government to retrospectively sentence particular ‘serious sex offenders’ to ‘win political points’, despite that person having done nothing at all wrong in prison.

Criminal lawyers have therefore been extremely critical of the act, including Pauline Wright of the NSW Law Society’s criminal law committee who calls it ‘completely inappropriate to punish someone for something they might do in the future’.

She says ‘you don’t punish someone unless they’ve done something wrong and that is proven beyond a reasonable doubt’ and ‘It could have really serious effects’.

Click on a link below to read the provisions of the ‘Serious Sex Offenders Act’.

Section 5 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | What is a serious sex offence?

Section 6 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Applications for extended supervision orders

Section 7 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Procedures for extended supervision orders

Section 8 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Interim supervision orders

Section 9 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Determination of extended supervision orders

Section 10 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Length of extended supervision orders

Section 11 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Conditions of extended supervision orders

Section 12 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Breaches of supervision orders

Section 13 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Varying and revoking supervision orders

Section 14 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Applications for continuing detention orders

Section 15 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Procedures for continuing detention orders

Section 16 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Interim detention orders

Section 17 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Determination of continuing detention orders

Section 18 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Length of continuing detention orders

Section 18A Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Detention order cancels supervision order

Section 19 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Varying and revoking detention orders

Section 20 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Warrants for detention orders

Section 21 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Nature of proceedings supervision & detention orders

Section 21A Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Victim statements for supervision & detention orders

Section 22 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Appeal against supervision and detention orders

Section 23 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | No costs for offender

Section 24A Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Attorney General acting for the State

Section 25 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Attorney General requiring information

Section 25A Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Court in which applications can be made

Section 25B Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Supervision & detention orders made at same time

Section 26 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Protection of the State

Section 27 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Hearings for detention and supervision orders

Section 28 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Bail Act not applying

Section 29 Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006 | Court rules for detention and supervision applications