Section 268.34 Criminal Code Act | International War Crime Taking Hostages


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The Legislation

Section 268.34 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is International War Crime Taking Hostages and is extracted below.

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268.34  War crime—taking hostages

(1)  A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:

(a)  the perpetrator seizes, detains or otherwise holds hostage one or more persons; and

(b)  the perpetrator threatens to kill, injure or continue to detain the person or persons; and

(c)  the perpetrator intends to compel the government of a country, an international organisation or a person or group of persons to act or refrain from acting as an explicit or implicit condition for either the safety or the release of the person or persons; and

(d)  the person or persons are protected under one or more of the Geneva Conventions or under Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions; and

(e)  the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the person or persons are so protected; and

(f)  the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 17 years.

(2)        Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(d).