After admitting appearing in the shocking dog sex photographs in a statement issued late today, Monaghan is in the clear, at least legally, because of an astonishing oversight in ACT law.
Legal experts â€“ who consulted Wikipedia â€“ tell VEXNEWS that while all states â€“ and wisely the Northern Territory â€“ have made provision for bestiality prohibitions, no such offence appears to exist in the ACT.
They cite the well-regarded current Halsbury’s Laws of Australia #9 page 247662:
- Criminal offence: New South Wales (Crimes Act 1900 s79, not more than 14 years imprisonment), Northern Territory(Criminal Code s138, not more than 3 years imprisonment), Queensland (Criminal Code s211: "carnal knowledge of an animal", not more than 5 years imprisonment), South Australia (Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 s69, "buggery with an animal", not more than 10 years imprisonment), Tasmania (Criminal Code s122(b), not more than 21 years imprisonment), Victoria (Crimes Act 1958 s59, not more than 5 years imprisonment), Western Australia(Criminal Code s181: "carnal knowledge of an animal", not more than 7 years imprisonment).
- Other: Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory have "no equivalent provisions".
There is an animal welfare law which might possibly cover the activity represented in the photographic image although that is far from clear.
Indeed it appears the provision in the Crimes Act that once forbade bestiality in the ACT in the past was repealed on 28th of November 1985 and has not been replaced, which certainly covers all the material times in this case and also during Mark Lathamâ€™s tenure in Canberra.
In all seriousness, it appears this is a serious omission in the ACT law and that what passes for a government there should take immediate action to make bestiality a crime as it is throughout the Commonwealth. Perhaps it could be referred to in legal circles as Monaghanâ€™s Law. The member of the Prime Ministerâ€™s hand-picked First XIII rugby league team could be immortalised for all time that way.