Obstructing a Member of the Clergy is an offence under section 56 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
You struck or ‘offer[ed] any violence to’ a member of the clergy or a minister while they were officiating in a place of divine worship or performing their duties in a lawful burial, at a burial place or about to do either of those things.
Alternatively, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
You used threats or force to prevent, or try to prevent, a member of the clergy, or a person authorised by a member of the clergy, from officiating in a place of divine worship or performing his or her duties in a lawful burial at a burial place.
Defences to the charge include:
- Necessity, and
- Mental illness
If you are going to court for Obstructing Member of the Clergy in Discharge of His or Her Duties, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers 24/7 on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a free first conference with an experienced defence lawyer who will advise you of your options and the best way forward, and fight to secure the optimal outcome.
Read on for more information.
Section 56 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Obstructing Member of the Clergy in Discharge of His or Her Duties’ and reads as follows:
56 Obstructing Member of the Clergy in Discharge of His or Her Duties
threats or force prevents, or endeavours to prevent, any member of the clergy, or other person duly authorised in that behalf, from officiating in a place of divine worship, or from the performance of his or her duty in the lawful burial of the dead in a burial-place, or
strikes, or offers any violence to, any member of the clergy, or minister engaged in, or to the knowledge of the offender about to engage in, any of the duties aforesaid, or going to perform the same,
shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
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