The sexual history of rape-case complainants may no longer be able to be raked over by defence lawyers in potentially far-reaching reforms proposed by Justice Minister Simon Power.
He is considering making evidence about a complainant's previous sexual relationships inadmissible without the agreement of the trial judge.
Surely not! How extraordinary!
Oh, wait, what's this?
44 Evidence of sexual experience of complainants in sexual cases
(1) In a sexual case, no evidence can be given and no question can be put to a witness relating directly or indirectly to the sexual experience of the complainant with any person other than the defendant, except with the permission of the Judge.
(2) In a sexual case, no evidence can be given and no question can be put to a witness that relates directly or indirectly to the reputation of the complainant in sexual matters.
Yes, that's right: it's already the law.
I won't blame the Herald. After all, its report is based largely on this press release from Simon Power.
Isn't it comforting to know our Justice Minister and his advisers have such a full appreciation of the criminal law?