Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act 2022

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice
1 Title

This Act is the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act 2022.

2 Commencement

(1)

This Act, except the provisions specified in subsection (2), comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

(2)

The following provisions come into force 6 months after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent:

(a)

subpart 2 of Part 2:

(b)

Part 1 Preliminary provisions

3 Purpose of this Act

The purpose of this Act is to—

(a)

recognise and prevent harm caused by conversion practices; and

(b)

promote respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality and gender.

4 Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

conversion practice has the meaning given to it in section 5

health practitioner has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

health service has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

serious harm, in relation to an individual, means any physical, psychological, or emotional harm that seriously affects the health, safety, or welfare of the individual.

5 Meaning of conversion practice

(1)

In this Act, conversion practice means any practice, sustained effort, or treatment that—

(a)

is directed towards an individual because of the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and

(b)

is done with the intention of changing or suppressing the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

(2)

However, conversion practice does not include—

(a)

any action that a health practitioner takes when providing a health service if the health practitioner—

(i)

considers in their reasonable professional judgement it is appropriate to take that action; and

(ii)

complies with all legal, professional, and ethical standards when taking the action; or

(b)

assisting an individual who is undergoing, or considering undergoing, a gender transition; or

(c)

assisting an individual to express their gender identity; or

(d)

providing acceptance, support, or understanding of an individual; or

(e)

facilitating an individual’s coping skills, development, or identity exploration, or facilitating social support for the individual; or

(f)

the expression only of a belief or a religious principle made to an individual that is not intended to change or suppress the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Examples of conversion practices

The following are examples of a conversion practice if each practice, sustained effort, or treatment described is directed towards an individual because of that individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression:

  • using shame or coercion intending to give an individual an aversion to same-sex attractions or to encourage gender-conforming behaviour:

  • encouraging an individual to believe that their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression needs changing because it is a defect or disorder:

  • carrying out a prayer-based practice, a deliverance practice, or an exorcism intending to change or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Compare: Public Health Act 2005 s 213F (Qld); Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Act 2020 s 7 (ACT); Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 s 5 (Vic)

6 Transitional, savings, and related provisions

The transitional, savings, and related provisions (if any) set out in Schedule 1 have effect according to their terms.

7 Act binds the Crown

This Act binds the Crown.

Part 2 Offences and civil liability in relation to conversion practices

Subpart 1—Offences relating to conversion practices

8 Offence to perform conversion practice on person under age of 18 years or lacking decision-making capacity

(1)

A person commits an offence if the person performs a conversion practice on an individual and knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the individual—

(a)

is under the age of 18 years; or

(b)

lacks, wholly or partly, the capacity to understand the nature, and to foresee the consequences, of decisions in respect of matters relating to their health or welfare.

(2)

A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years.

Compare: Public Health Act 2005 s 213H (Qld); Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Act 2020 s 8 (ACT)

9 Offence to perform conversion practice that causes serious harm

(1)

A person commits an offence if the person performs a conversion practice on an individual that causes serious harm to the individual and the person—

(a)

knew that performing the conversion practice would cause serious harm to the individual; or

(b)

was reckless as to whether the performance of the conversion practice would cause serious harm to the individual.

(2)

A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.

Compare: Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 s 10 (Vic)

10 Consent not defence

It is not a defence to a charge under section 8 or 9 that—

(a)

the individual on whom the conversion practice was performed, or a person on behalf of that individual, consented to the performance of that practice; or

(b)

the person charged believed that such consent was given.

Compare: 1961 No 43 ss 204A(6), 204B(4)

11 Person on whom conversion practice performed not party to offence

A person on whom a conversion practice is performed may not be charged as a party to an offence committed on them under section 8 or 9.

Compare: 1961 No 43 ss 204A(7), 204B(5)

12 No prosecution without Attorney-General’s consent

No prosecution for an offence against section 8 or 9 may be instituted without the consent of the Attorney-General.

Compare: 1993 No 82 s 132

Subpart 2—Civil liability relating to conversion practices

13 Complaint may be made under Human Rights Act 1993

A person may make a complaint under the Human Rights Act 1993 alleging that there has been a breach of section 63A of that Act.

Part 3 Amendment to Human Rights Act 1993

14 Principal Act

This Part amends the Human Rights Act 1993.

15 New section 63A inserted (Conversion practices)

After section 63, insert:

63A Conversion practices

(1)

It is unlawful for any person to—

(a)

perform a conversion practice on any other person; or

(b)

arrange for a conversion practice to be performed on any other person.

(2)

In this section, conversion practice has the same meaning as in section 5 of the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act 2022.

Schedule 1 Transitional, savings, and related provisions

s 6

Part 1 Provisions relating to this Act as enacted

There are no transitional, savings, or related provisions relating to this Act as enacted.

Legislative history

30 July 2021

Introduction (Bill 56–1)

5 August 2021

First reading and referral to Justice Committee

2 February 2022

Reported from Justice Committee (Bill 56–2)

8 February 2022

Second reading

9 February 2022

Committee of the whole House

15 February 2022

Third reading

18 February 2022

Royal assent

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.