Vol. 41 No. 2 (2022): The University of Queensland Law Journal

A Review of the New Legislative Definition of Consent in Queensland: An Opportunity for Western Australia?

James Duffy
Associate Professor Queensland University of Technology

Published 2022-08-09


  • consent, sexual offences, assault, communication model, withdrawal


This article examines recent amendments to the definition of consent in the Queensland Criminal Code, with a view to recommending amendments to the Western Australian Criminal Code. Comparative and doctrinal methodology are used to identify shortcomings in the definition of consent in the Western Australian Code, and how these might be remedied. Given the different origins and form of criminal law across Australian states and territories, the definition of consent has naturally varied. In some instances, these variations are semantic, and the content of the law is uniform. In other cases, interpretive ‘grey areas’ exist, with the very real consequence that the concept and content of ‘consent’ may operate differentially across state borders. Given the shared genesis (and current similarity) of the Queensland and Western Australian Criminal Codes, there are few reasons for their definitions of consent to vary in form and substance.