S293

Section 293 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 forbids the admission of evidence relating to the sexual experience of a complainant in the hearing or trial for a prescribed sexual offence.

Section 293 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 forbids the admission of evidence relating to the sexual experience of a complainant in the hearing or trial for a prescribed sexual offence.

The following are specified as being inadmissible:

  • the sexual reputation of the complainant.
  • that the complainant has or may have had sexual experience
  • that the complainant has or may have had a lack of sexual experience
  • that the complainant has or may have taken part or not taken part in any sexual activity

The section then sets out a number of narrowly drawn exceptions.

Whilst the section has obvious merit in principle, there has been significant criticism of the breadth of the application of the section. GEH v R [2012] NSWCCA 150 held that a previous false complaint made by a complaint was not admissible as a reasonable person could “draw from the question and answer (so that the evidence could properly be said to imply) either the inference that the complainant had taken part in such activity, or the inference that she had not.”

 

Morgan

R v Morgan (1993) 70 A Crim R 368

“For my part, I see no difficulty in regarding, as one connected set of circumstances, the events of the evening in question including the return of the complainant from the hotel to the house, her falling asleep, her alleged assault by the appellant, her getting up to make a drink, her meeting of her boyfriend when he returned from the hotel, and her going to bed with her boyfriend.”