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Being a Member of a Terrorist Organisation

Being a Member of a Terrorist Organisation is an offence under section 310J of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were a member of an organisation
  2. You became a member intentionally
  3. The organisation was a terrorist organisation, and
  4. You knew the organisation was a terrorist organisation.

A ‘terrorist organisation’ is one which directly or indirectly engages in, prepares, plans, assists in or fosters the doing of terrorist acts.

A ‘terrorist act’ is an action or threat of action done or made with the intention of:

  1. Advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, and
  2. Coercing or influencing by intimidation a government of or in Australia, Or a foreign government, or intimidating the public or a section of the public.

A ‘member of an organisation’ includes:

  1. A person who is an informal member
  2. A person who has taken steps to become a member, and
  3. A director or officer of a company that is a member, or an informal member or has taken steps to become a member.

You are not guilty of the offence if you establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that you took all reasonable steps to cease to be a member of the organisation as soon as practicable after becoming aware the organisation was a terrorist organisation.

You are not liable for the offence if you have already been punished for equivalent conduct under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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