Assisting prisoners of war to escape is an offence under section 83.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You engaged in conduct
- Your conduct assisted a prisoner of war to escape from custody
- That custody was controlled wholly or partly by the Commonwealth or the Australian Defence Force, and
- Your conduct occurred within the context of international armed conflict.
‘Prisoners of war’ include any of the following who have “fallen into the power of any enemy”:
- Members of armed forces
- Members of militia or voluntary corps who form part of armed forces
- Members of other organised militia or voluntary corps who are under command, have a fixed distinctive symbol, carry arms openly, and conduct their operations according to the laws and customs of war
- Persons who accompany armed forces, including crew members, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units and those responsible for welfare, and
- Inhabitants of non-occupied countries who approach the enemy and take up arms.
‘International armed conflict’ includes:
“all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more… [nations] even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them”.
It covers “all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory… [of a nation] even if the said occupation meets with no resistance”.
Proceedings for the offence cannot be commenced without the Attorney-General’s consent.
Defences to the charge include:
- Duress, and
- Self-defence, including the defence of another or others.
If you are going to court for Assisting Prisoners of War to Escape, 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.
83.2 Assisting prisoners of war to escape
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person engages in conduct; and
(b) the conduct assists one or more prisoners of war (within the meaning of Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention) to escape from custody; and
(c) the custody is controlled wholly or partly by the Commonwealth or the Australian Defence Force; and
(d) the conduct takes place in the context of an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years.
(2) Absolute liability applies to paragraph (1)(d).
(3) Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction–category D) applies to an offence against this section.
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We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.
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We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.
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We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.
We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.
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Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.
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Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
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