The O’Farrell Government has abolished the age-old common law rule of spousal immunity that says that a person cannot be found guilty of failing to disclose a crime committed by the person’s spouse or partner.
See yesterday’s reporting here.
Listen to David’s interview with David Oldfield re Spousal Privilege
“This change to the law, unlike the same sex marriage bills being considered by the Federal Parliament, does damage to the institution of marriage.
“This law will make it a blanket rule that, regardless of the circumstances, it will be a crime to not dob your partner in to the police.
“We know very well that there are many women living in violent relationships who are emotionally unable to leave their partner, let alone positively inform on their partner to the police.
“This will even make it a crime for a women, who has been subject to serious and constant assaults at the hands of her partner, to not report her partner’s crimes to the police.
“There are clearly cases where it should be a crime not to disclose, including where a person is aware of child sexual abuse being committed by their partner.
“Unfortunately the Government refused to support a Greens amendment which would have referred this complicated matter for consideration of the Law Reform Commission.
“This is a complex area of the law and it should have been carefully considered by the Law Reform Commission before being rushed through Parliament.
“There is a public interest in protecting close personal relationships and encouraging trust and confidence between partners, yet this has been entirely ignored by the government,” Mr Shoebridge said.