Queensland Rape Law "Loophole" Could Remain Open

Jonathan Crowe

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceResearch


The Queensland government has quietly released the state Law Reform Commission’s long-awaited report on reforming the state’s controversial sexual consent laws.

After much lobbying by survivors of sexual assault for comprehensive changes to the law, the recommendations are a huge disappointment.

The QLRC review was prompted by concerns about the mistake of fact excuse in rape cases — what some have called a “loophole” that allows rapists to walk free.

Defendants in rape trials often argue the other person consented to sex. However, the mistake of fact excuse also allows defendants to argue they honestly and reasonably believed the other person consented to sex — even if that person did not. The excuse has been part of Queensland law since 1899.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license
Original languageEnglish
JournalNational Interest
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2020


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