Section 137.1 Criminal Code Act | False or Misleading Information


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The Legislation

Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is False or Misleading Information and is extracted below.

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137.1  False or misleading information

(1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person gives information to another person; and

(b)  the person does so knowing that the information:

(i)  is false or misleading; or

(ii)  omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading; and

(c)  any of the following subparagraphs applies:

(i)  the information is given to a Commonwealth entity;

(ii)  the information is given to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;

(iii)  the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months.

(1A)  Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (1)(c)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(i) if the information is not false or misleading in a material particular.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2). See subsection 13.3(3).

(3)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) if the information did not omit any matter or thing without which the information is misleading in a material particular.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3). See subsection 13.3(3).

(4)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(i) if, before the information was given by a person to the Commonwealth entity, the Commonwealth entity did not take reasonable steps to inform the person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (4). See subsection 13.3(3).

(5)  Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(ii) if, before the information was given by a person (the first person) to the person mentioned in that subparagraph (the second person), the second person did not take reasonable steps to inform the first person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (5). See subsection 13.3(3).

(6)  For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5), it is sufficient if the following form of words is used:

“Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence”.