Consultation paper on changes to criminal laws on Norfolk Island

Media Release
24 March

The Australian Government has been working in consultation with the community to help strengthen child and family support services as part of its commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of children and families on Norfolk Island.

To complement these efforts, the Australian Government has also been working to modernise laws on Norfolk Island. This will better protect children, women and other residents against criminal violence and other illegal acts.

Our aim is to provide services and have laws on Island that are broadly comparable to those in similar communities on mainland Australia.

We have already made several changes to Norfolk Island laws, including changes to the Child Welfare Act 2009 (NI) and the Criminal Code 2007 (NI).

Two measures are currently progressing through the Australian Parliament, in a Bill known as the Investigations and Prosecution Measures Bill 2017. If passed, these changes will mean that:

  • time limits for the prosecution of sex offences, including historical offences, in Norfolk Island criminal law will be removed, along with any immunity for accused people arising from these time limits
  • in the interests of justice and to ensure accused people receive a fair trial, the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island will be able to hold trials on the mainland, in other Australian States and Territories.

We have identified a further 12 legislative measures to improve protections for women and children. A summary of these changes is attached: PDF: 265 KB

Last Updated: 23 March, 2018