Part IAD - Protecting vulnerable persons  

Division 6 - Miscellaneous  

SECTION 15YR   Publication identifying child witnesses, child complainants or vulnerable adult complainants  

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person publishes any matter; and

(b) the person does not have the leave of the court to publish the matter; and

(c) the matter:

(i) identifies another person, who is a person to whom subsection (1A) applies (the vulnerable person ) in relation to a proceeding, as being a child witness, child complainant or vulnerable adult complainant; or

(ii) is likely to lead to the vulnerable person being identified as such a person; and

(d) the vulnerable person is not a defendant in the proceeding.


This subsection applies to the following persons:

(a) for a child proceeding - a child witness or child complainant;

(b) for a vulnerable adult proceeding - a vulnerable adult complainant.

This section does not apply if the publication is in:

(a) an official publication in the course of, and for the purpose of, the proceeding; or

(b) a document prepared for use in particular legal proceedings (whether or not the legal proceedings are a proceeding within the meaning of this Part).


A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

The court may give leave to a person to publish the matter.

In deciding whether to give leave, the court is to have regard to:

(a) any trauma to the vulnerable person that the publication could cause; and

(b) any damage to the reputation of the vulnerable person that the publication could cause; and

(c) whether the publication is:

(i) for the purpose of supplying transcripts of the proceedings to persons with a genuine interest in the proceedings; or

(ii) for genuine research purposes.

Leave may be given after the proceedings have finished. For this purpose, the court need not be constituted by the same judicial officers who constituted the court in the proceedings.


An application for leave under this section must be in writing.


A person who makes an application for leave under this section must take reasonable steps to give written notice of the application to each of the following:

(a) the prosecutor in the proceeding;

(b) each defendant in the proceeding;

(c) each other party to the proceeding to whom subsection (1A) applies.


If a party referred to in paragraph (7)(c) is a child at the time the application is made, the notice must be given to a parent, guardian or legal representative of the party.


A notice under subsection (7) must:

(a) be given no later than 3 business days before the day the application is to be heard; and

(b) be accompanied by a copy of the application.


An application for leave under this section must not be determined unless the court:

(a) is satisfied the applicant has taken reasonable steps to give notice of the application in accordance with subsections (7), (8) and (9); and

(b) has considered such submissions and other evidence as it thinks necessary for determining the application.

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