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:
‘Prisoners of war’ include any of the following who have “fallen into the power of any enemy”:
‘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:
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