Section 271.8 Criminal Code Act | Debt Bondage


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The Legislation

Section 271.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Debt Bondage and is extracted below.

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271.8 Offence of debt bondage

(1) A person commits an offence of debt bondage if:

(a) the person engages in conduct that causes another person to enter into debt bondage; and

(b) the person intends to cause the other person to enter into debt bondage.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.

(2) In determining, for the purposes of any proceedings for an offence against subsection (1), whether a person (the first person) has caused another person (the second person) to enter into debt bondage, a court, or if the trial is before a jury, the jury, may have regard to any of the following matters:

(a) the economic relationship between the first person and the second person;

(b) the terms of any written or oral contract or agreement between the second person and another person (whether or not the first person);

(c) the personal circumstances of the second person, including but not limited to:

(i) whether the second person is entitled to be in Australia under the Migration Act 1958; and

(ii) the second person’s ability to speak, write and understand English or the language in which the deception or inducement occurred; and

(iii) the extent of the second person’s social and physical dependence on the first person.

(3) Subsection (2) does not:

(a) prevent the leading of any other evidence in proceedings for an offence against subsection (1); or

(b) limit the manner in which evidence may be adduced or the admissibility of evidence.