Section 5 Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2012 | Declaring Criminal Organisation


The Crimes (Criminal Organisations) Control Act 2012 is a controversial piece of legislation which allows certain groups to be declared ‘criminal organisations.’

A declaration can place heavy burdens upon organisations; restricting associations between members of that organisation, preventing its members from engaging in certain activities or forms of employment and imposing heavy penalties for breach of these conditions.

Under section 5 of the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2012, the Commissioner may apply for a declaration against a particular organisation.

Section 5 also states the requirements for the declaration to be valid – for example:

  • It must be in writing;
  • It must identify and describe the nature of the organisation and any distinguishing characteristics;
  • It must set out the grounds for the declaration;
  • It must contain any information which supports these grounds;
  • It must set out the details of any previous applications for declarations against the organisation and the outcome of those applications;
  • It must state that a response to the application may be filed.

Section 5 also contains a range of administrative requirements which the Commissioner must comply with when filing the application.

Though declarations may impose onerous restrictions on declared organisations, our experienced criminal lawyers can assist you in protecting your rights.

Our expert defence team can assist you in filing a response to any applications and advise you of your options.

The Legislation

5 Commissioner may apply for declaration

(1) The Commissioner may apply to the Court for a declaration that a particular organisation (the
“respondent”) is a criminal organisation for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The application must:

(a) be in writing, and

(b) identify the organisation, and

(c) describe the nature of the organisation and any of its distinguishing characteristics, and

(d) set out the grounds on which the declaration is sought, and

(e) set out the information supporting the grounds on which the declaration is sought, and

(f) set out details of any previous application for a declaration of the organisation and the outcome of that application, and

(g) state that a response to the application may be filed under section 6.

(3) The application must be accompanied by any affidavit the Commissioner intends to rely on at the hearing of the application.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b), it is sufficient if the organisation is identified by specifying its name or the name by which it is commonly known or by providing other particulars about the organisation.

(5) The application, with any accompanying affidavit, must:
(a) be filed in the Court, and

(b) on filing, have as the return date for the hearing fixed by the registrar of the Court a day within 35 days after the filing, and

(c) after being filed, be served by the Commissioner on the respondent:

(i) by personal service within 7 business days after the filing, or

(ii) if personal service is not practicable, or if the respondent is an unincorporated association or group, by public notice within 10 days after the filing.

(6) The Court may extend the return date under this section on such conditions the Court considers appropriate.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Having your group declared a ‘criminal organisation’ can be frustrating and may impact your ability to work, socialise and engage in certain hobbies or interests.

The team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is passionate about fighting for our clients’ rights and protecting your liberty.

Our expert defence lawyers can assist you in filing a response to any applications to declare your group a ‘criminal organisation.’ We can also advise you of your options in having the declaration revoked.

Our lawyers believe that you should be able to go about your personal life free from any interference or restrictions and will fight hard to protect your liberty.

So for the best possible defence in your matter, call us on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first conference to discuss your case with us today.