Section 8 Summary Offences Act – Damaging or Desecrating Protected Places


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The Legislation

Section 8 of the Summary Offences Act 1998 (NSW) is the criminal offence of Damaging or Desecrating Protected Places and is stated below.

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8 Damaging or desecrating protected places

(1) In this section:”protected place” means a shrine, monument or statue located in a public place, and (without limitation) includes a war memorial.”war memorial” means a war memorial located in a public place, and (without limitation) includes:
(a) the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, being:
(i) the memorial building referred to in the Anzac Memorial (Building) Act 1923, and
(ii) the land described in the Schedule to that Act, and
(iii) any other structure on that land, and
(b) any other place prescribed under subsection (4) as a war memorial for the purposes of this section.

(2) A person must not wilfully damage or deface any protected place. Maximum penalty: 40 penalty units.

(3) A person must not commit any nuisance or any offensive or indecent act in or on any war memorial. Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

(3A) Instead of imposing a fine on a person under this section, the court:
(a) may make an order under section 8 (1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 directing the person to perform community service work, or
(b) may make an order under section 5 (1) of the Children (Community Service Orders) Act 1987 requiring the person to perform community service work,
as the case requires.

(4) The regulations may prescribe a place (within a public place) as a war memorial for the purposes of this section, comprising:
(a) a specified shrine, monument, statue or other structure or place, and
(b) a specified area (if any) within its vicinity.