Section 147.2 Criminal Code Act | Threatening Harm to Commonwealth Public Official


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The Legislation

Section 147.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Threatening Harm to Commonwealth Public Official and is extracted below.

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147.2  Threatening to cause harm to a Commonwealth public official etc.

Threatening to cause serious harm

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

(a)  the first person makes to another person (the second person) a threat to cause serious harm to the second person or to a third person; and

(b)  the second person or the third person is a public official; and

(c)  the first person:

(i)  intends the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; or

(ii)  is reckless as to causing the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; and

(d)  the first person makes the threat because of:

(i)  the official’s status as a public official; or

(ii)  any conduct engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a public official; and

(da)  the official is a Commonwealth public official; and

(db)  if subparagraph (d)(i) applies—the status mentioned in that subparagraph was status as a Commonwealth public official; and

(dc)  if subparagraph (d)(ii) applies—the conduct mentioned in that subparagraph was engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

Penalty:

(e)  if the official is a Commonwealth judicial officer or a Commonwealth law enforcement officer—imprisonment for 9 years; or

(f)  in any other case—imprisonment for 7 years.

(1A)  Absolute liability applies to the paragraphs (1)(da), (db) and (dc) elements of the offence.

Threatening to cause harm

(2)  A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the first person makes to another person (the second person) a threat to cause harm to the second person or to a third person; and

(b)  the second person or the third person is a public official; and

(c)  the first person:

(i)  intends the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; or

(ii)  is reckless as to causing the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; and

(d)  the first person makes the threat because of:

(i)  the official’s status as a public official; or

(ii)  any conduct engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a public official; and

(e)  the official is a Commonwealth public official; and

(f)  if subparagraph (d)(i) applies—the status mentioned in that subparagraph was status as a Commonwealth public official; and

(g)  if subparagraph (d)(ii) applies—the conduct mentioned in that subparagraph was engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years

(2A)  Absolute liability applies to the paragraphs (2)(e), (f) and (g) elements of the offence.

Threatening to cause serious harm to a former Governor-General, former Minister or former Parliamentary Secretary

(3)  A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the first person makes to another person (the second person) a threat to cause serious harm to the second person or to a third person; and

(b)  the second person or the third person is a former Governor-General, a former Minister or a former Parliamentary Secretary; and

(c)  the first person:

(i)  intends the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; or

(ii)  is reckless as to causing the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out; and

(d)  the first person makes the threat because of:

(i)  the second or third person’s status as a former Governor-General, a former Minister or a former Parliamentary Secretary; or

(ii)  any conduct engaged in by the second or third person in the second or third person’s former capacity as a Governor-General, a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years.

Threats

(4)  For the purposes of this section, a threat may be:

(a)  express or implied; or

(b)  conditional or unconditional.

Unnecessary to prove that a threatened person actually feared harm

(5)        In a prosecution for an offence against this section, it is not necessary to prove that the person threatened actually feared that the threat would be carried out.