Making a false official instrument to pervert the course of justice is an offence under section 318(2) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
An ‘official instrument’ is one that is made or issued by a person in his or her capacity as a public officer or by a judicial tribunal.
A ‘public officer’ is one that has any power, authority, duty or function conferred by any level of Australian government, or under delegation by any level of Australian government.
A ‘judicial tribunal’ is any person, including a coroner or arbitrator, or any court or other body authorised by law or by the consent of parties that may conduct a hearing to determine any matter or thing.
A ‘false document’ is one that is purported to have been:
‘Perverting the course of justice’ is defined by section 312 of the Act as:
“obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice or the administration of law”
Defences to the charge include:
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