Let’s talk about the Serious Sex Offenders Act

Before the enactment of the Serious Sex Offenders Act 2013 (NT), which  commenced on 1 July 2013, CLANT criticised the Bill, and we have also posted on this site criticism of legislative schemes for preventive detention by Professor Bernadette McSherry and forensic psychiatrist Dr Olav Nielssen.

Bernadette McSherry and Patrick Keyzer have recently published a further article reporting on interviews with 86 of the professionals responsible for the administration of Australian statutory schemes of this type: “The Preventive Detention of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in Australia: Perspectives at the Coalface” (International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 2013, 2, 296-305).

In March 2013, the Law Society Northern Territory delivered its own comments on  the Bill to the Northern Territory Attorney-General, and we now publish, by permission, pdfJohn Elferink’s response, which, we respectfully note, is a detailed, carefully argued and well considered defence of this contentious piece of legislation.  CLANT remains unconvinced, but we appreciate the opportunity to report on and take part in this serious discussion.

Meanwhile, in Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v EE [2013] NTSC 35, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory has for the first time considered and construed the Act.