Consultation for this project is complete

In April 2021, the ACT Government introduced three new offences against vulnerable people to the Crimes Act 1900 in the Crimes (Offences Against Vulnerable People) Legislation Amendment Bill 2020. The new offences aim to provide additional protections for vulnerable adults with a disability and older Canberrans.

The three new offences make it a crime to:

  • abuse a vulnerable person
  • fail to protect a vulnerable person from a criminal offence
  • neglect a vulnerable person.

The offences apply to both institutions and individuals who provide care to vulnerable adults, including family members and a person in authority.

To ensure these new laws are effective, the ACT Government consulted with the Canberra community and key stakeholders on the three offences against vulnerable people to see if the offences are effective and if they can be improved.

The statutory review of the offences will focus on three questions:

  1. How has the definition of ‘vulnerable person’ supported or limited the effectiveness of the three new offences?
  2. How have the types of caring relationships captured in the offences, including the definition of ‘responsible for providing care’, supported or limited the effectiveness of the offences?
  3. If the offences applied to children with disability, would they offer more protection compared to existing protections for children? Why or why not?

How you had your say

Consultation on the review of offences against vulnerable people opened 12 April 2023 and ran for six weeks until 24 May 2023.

You provided feedback on the laws by emailing us your submission, completing a short survey or calling us and sharing your suggestions.

Overall feedback suggested ongoing reviews and policy efforts should be considered but ultimately no amendments to the provisions were recommended.

There were a few stakeholder recommendations which can be found in the Statutory Review tabled here.

How we used your views

The feedback collected during the consultation was considered during the evaluation of the offences and directly informed the recommendations that emerged from the review.