Section 101.4 Criminal Code Act | Possessing Things Connected with Terrorist Acts


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The Legislation

Section 101.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Possessing Things Connected with Terrorist Acts and is extracted below.

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101.4  Possessing things connected with terrorist acts

(1)  A person commits an offence if:

(a)  the person possesses a thing; and

(b)  the thing is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act; and

(c)  the person mentioned in paragraph (a) knows of the connection described in paragraph (b).

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 15 years.

(2)  A person commits an offence if:

(a)  the person possesses a thing; and

(b)  the thing is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act; and

(c)  the person mentioned in paragraph (a) is reckless as to the existence of the connection described in paragraph (b).

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

(3)  A person commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) even if:

(a)  a terrorist act does not occur; or

(b)  the thing is not connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a specific terrorist act; or

(c)  the thing is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in more than one terrorist act.

(4)  Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction—category D) applies to an offence against this section.

(5)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if the possession of the thing was not intended to facilitate preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.

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

(6)  If, in a prosecution for an offence (the prosecuted offence) against a subsection of this section, the trier of fact is not satisfied that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offence (the alternative offence) against another subsection of this section, the trier of fact may find the defendant not guilty of the prosecuted offence but guilty of the alternative offence, so long as the defendant has been accorded procedural fairness in relation to that finding of guilt.

A ‘Terrorist Act’ is defined as follows:

terrorist act means an action or threat of action where:

(a)  the action falls within subsection (2) and does not fall within subsection (3); and

(b)  the action is done or the threat is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause; and

(c)  the action is done or the threat is made with the intention of:

(i)  coercing, or influencing by intimidation, the government of the Commonwealth or a State, Territory or foreign country, or of part of a State, Territory or foreign country; or

(ii)  intimidating the public or a section of the public.

(2)  Action falls within this subsection if it:

(a)  causes serious harm that is physical harm to a person; or

(b)  causes serious damage to property; or

(c)  causes a person’s death; or

(d)  endangers a person’s life, other than the life of the person taking the action; or

(e)  creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public; or

(f)  seriously interferes with, seriously disrupts, or destroys, an electronic system including, but not limited to:

(i)  an information system; or

(ii)  a telecommunications system; or

(iii)  a financial system; or

(iv)  a system used for the delivery of essential government services; or

(v)  a system used for, or by, an essential public utility; or

(vi)       a system used for, or by, a transport system