Mandatory Sentences for Child Sex Offences and Other Changes under the New Laws

04 JUN 2021


In 2020, mandatory sentences were introduced for Child Sex Offences under the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Act 2020 (Cth).

When the law prescribes a mandatory sentence, the magistrate or judge must meet this sentence as a minimum for the offence. An example of this under the new legislation is grooming via postal or similar service, which carries a mandatory sentence of 15 years.

The legislation takes place Australia wide and amends the following legislations: Crimes Act 1914 and Criminal Code Act 1995. The main focus of these amendments is to increase the punishment for child sex offences, including ‘sexting’ with under age people, with the penalties increasing dramatically both for minimums and maximums.

The legislation also addresses offences that state legislation cannot, such as child sex offences conducted overseas.

The changes in this legislation not only impacts sentences, but also regulates Bail for when charges of this nature are laid. The ability to obtain Bail when charged with one of these offences becomes more stringent, with questions raised as to whether there are proper conditions which may favour the granting of bail while also protecting the community.  

Additionally, the legislation makes amendments to minimum sentences for second offences, but also circumstances in which a sentence may be reduced. It should be noted however that these reductions are limited in comparison to other offences.


The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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POSTED: 31 May 2022
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