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Committing Reprisals Against those Believed to be Witnesses or Jurors

Committing reprisals against those believed to be witnesses or jurors is an offence under section 326(2) 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 threatened to do or cause, or did or caused, any injury or detriment to a person
  2. You believed the person may have served, may serve or would serve as a witness or juror in a judicial proceeding, and
  3. Your actions were due to your belief that the person may have served, may serve or would serve as a witness or juror in a judicial proceeding.

A ‘judicial proceeding’ is one in or before which a judicial tribunal can take evidence under oath.

A ‘judicial tribunal’ is any person or any court or other body authorised by law, or by the consent of the parties to conduct a hearing to determine any matter or thing.

It is immaterial whether your actions were wholly or partly due to your belief that the person may have served, may serve or would serve as a witness or juror.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Self defence, including the defence of another.

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