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Section 578A Crimes Act 1900
Prohibition of Publication Identifying Victims of Certain Sexual Offences

Section 578A of the Crimes Act 1900 is Prohibition of Publication Identifying Victims of Certain Sexual Offences and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Defence Firm, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence team help you.

The Legislation

Section 578A of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Prohibition of Publication Identifying Victims of Certain Sexual Offences’ and reads as follows:

578A Prohibition of Publication Identifying Victims of Certain Sexual Offences

(1) In this section:

“complainant” has the same meaning as in Division 1 of Part 5 of Chapter 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 .

“matter” includes a picture.

“prescribed sexual offence” has the same meaning as in the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 .

“publish” includes:

(a) broadcast by radio or television, or

(b) disseminate by any other electronic means such as the internet.

(2) A person shall not publish any matter which identifies the complainant in prescribed sexual offence proceedings or any matter which is likely to lead to the identification of the complainant.

Penalty: In the case of an individual–50 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months, or both; in the case of a corporation–500 penalty units.

(3) This section applies even though the prescribed sexual offence proceedings have been finally disposed of.

(4) This section does not apply to:

(a) a publication authorised by the Judge or Justice presiding in the proceedings concerned,

(b) a publication made with the consent of the complainant (being a complainant who is of or over the age of 14 years at the time of publication),

(c) a publication authorised by the court concerned under section 15D of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 in respect of a complainant who is under the age of 16 years at the time of publication,

(d) an official law report of the prescribed sexual offence proceedings or any official publication in the course of, and for the purposes of, those proceedings,

(e) the supply of transcripts of the prescribed sexual offence proceedings to persons with a genuine interest in those proceedings or for genuine research purposes, or

(f) a publication made after the complainant’s death.

(5) A Judge or Justice shall not authorise a publication under subsection (4) (a) unless the Judge or Justice:

(a) has sought and considered any views of the complainant, and

(b) is satisfied that the publication is in the public interest.

(6) The prohibition contained in this section applies in addition to any other prohibition or restriction imposed by law on the publication of any matter relating to prescribed sexual offence proceedings.

(7) Proceedings for an offence against this section shall be dealt with summarily before:

(a) the Local Court, or

(b) the Supreme Court in its summary jurisdiction.

(8) If proceedings for an offence against this Act are brought before the Local Court, the maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose on a corporation is 50 penalty units.

(9) Proceedings for an offence against this section that are brought before the Local Court must be commenced within 2 years of the date of the alleged offence.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being charged with Prohibition of Publication Identifying Victims of Certain Sexual Offences can have a detrimental impact on your life, career and your professional reputation.

But by arming yourself with the best possible defence, you can avoid these potential consequences.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our lawyers are experts in the field of criminal and traffic law.

Our unparalleled knowledge of the law, coupled with years of experience fighting some of the most difficult criminal cases puts our clients at a leading advantage when it comes to securing a positive outcome in your case.

Our lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence in order to identify any possible weaknesses with the prosecution case.

Where problems are identified, our lawyers can write to police and push to have the charges dropped before your matter reaches a defended hearing.

Alternatively, if you wish to fight the charges in court, our senior lawyers will assist you in identifying and raising any possible defences.

Our experienced advocates will fight hard to win your case by presenting any favourable evidence in a compelling manner in court and casting doubt on the prosecution case.

We offer a FREE first conference with our lawyers to help you understand your options – so give us a call now on (02) 9261 8881 and take the first step in fighting your matter.

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