CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 42 Conspiracy to defeat justice

CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 42 Conspiracy to defeat justice

(1)  A person commits an offence if:

(a)  the person conspires with another person to obstruct, to prevent, to pervert or to defeat the course of justice in relation to a judicial power; and

(b)  the judicial power is the judicial power of the Commonwealth.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(2)  Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (1)(b) element of the offence.

Note:          For absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code .

(3)  For a person to be guilty of an offence against subsection (1):

(a)  the person must have entered into an agreement with one or more other persons; and

(b)  the person and at least one other party to the agreement must have intended to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice pursuant to the agreement; and

(c)  the person or at least one other party to the agreement must have committed an overt act pursuant to the agreement.

(4)  A person may be found guilty of an offence against subsection (1) even if:

(a)  obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice pursuant to the agreement is impossible; or

(b)  the only other party to the agreement is a body corporate; or

(c)  each other party to the agreement is a person who is not criminally responsible; or

(d)  subject to subsection (5), all other parties to the agreement have been acquitted of the offence.

(5)  A person cannot be found guilty of an offence against subsection (1) if:

(a)  all other parties to the agreement have been acquitted of such an offence; and

(b)  a finding of guilt would be inconsistent with their acquittal.

(6)  A person cannot be found guilty of an offence against subsection (1) if, before the commission of an overt act pursuant to the agreement, the person:

(a)  withdrew from the agreement; and

(b)  took all reasonable steps to prevent the obstruction, prevention, perversion or defeat.

(7)  A court may dismiss a charge of an offence against subsection (1) if the court thinks that the interests of justice require the court to do so.

(8)  Section 11.1 of the Criminal Code does not apply to an offence against subsection (1).

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