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Introduction The law of rape in South Australia is governed by the common law and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 SA Recently there have been inquiries as to the low conviction rate for sexual assault offences 18 per cent of reported rape cases against adult women resulted in convictions in 2002 which might indicate the insufficiency of law in this area There are many reasons for the low conviction rate Among all emphasis will be put on the steps to establish a conviction That is the requirement for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt In South Australia the current law requires the finding of fault mens rea on the part of the accused Consequently it has been argued among commentators that it is very difficult if not impossible to establish the mens rea requirement Also controversies arise in the process of finding mens rea In the face of this it is suggested that the approach of strict liability should be adopted An offence is a strict liability offence if the Crown only has to prove that physical elements actus reus of the offence have taken place The Crown does not have to prove any fault element such as a particular intention or awareness on the part of the accused Obviously the adoption of strict liability would be more favourable to the complainants But should the law change In the following sections the current law of rape in SA Queensland Victoria and New South Wales will be focused together with some law reform commitment in other jurisdictions outside SA Current law in South Australia According to s48 Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 A person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that other person aknowing that that other person does not consent to sexual intercourse with him or her bbeing recklessly indifferent as to whether that other person consents to sexual
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