ACT Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2020 resources released
Last year the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the Crimes (Offences Against Vulnerable People) Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (the Act). This followed an extensive consultation across a broad range of stakeholders.
This week the Justice and Community Services (JACS Directorate) released a series of resources to assist organisations with the education and preparation prior to the commencement of the Act.
NDS was a strong proponent of the delay of the commencement of the Act to ensure detailed information was developed and distributed to the widest possible number of stakeholders. To support this process JAC's established an Implementation Working Group and Reference Group of which NDS is a member.
The resources, developed through an extensive consultation process, include:
- Fact sheet [PDF]
- Infosheet - people over 60 years old to whom an element of vulnerability applies [PDF]
- Infosheet for people with disability [PDF]
- Infosheet - families and carers [PDF], and
- Infosheet - institutions and employees [PDF].
Further resources are still in development; these include Easy English versions of the Fact Sheet and a poster. Additionally, the Fact sheet is being translated into Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Italian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
All of these documents will be made available on the JAC webpage once finalised.
NDS will be hosting a webinar in the coming weeks to provide additional information to all stakeholders.
About the Act
The Crimes (Offences Against Vulnerable People) Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (the Act) was notified as an amending Act on 20 August 2020. The Act introduced three new offences:
- Abuse of a vulnerable person, which criminalises abusive conduct by a person who is responsible for the care of a vulnerable person. The conduct must result in harm to the vulnerable person or a financial benefit to the abuser or someone associated with them, and the abuser must be reckless as to causing the harm or obtaining the benefit.
- Failure to protect a vulnerable person from criminal offence, which criminalises the failure of a person in authority within an institution to protect the vulnerable people in their care.
- Neglect of a vulnerable person, which criminalises the neglect of a vulnerable person by a person who is responsible for the vulnerable person’s care
The Act also introduces new factors for consideration when sentencing if the victim of a crime was a vulnerable person.