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Making Contradictory Statements on Oath

Making contradictory statements on oath is an offence under section 331 of the Crimes Act 1900.

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

  1. You were on trial for perjury under section 327 of the Act, or for making a false statement on oath not amounting to perjury under section 330
  2. You made two statements under oath or affirmation
  3. Your statements were irreconcilably in conflict with one another, and
  4. You knew one of the statements was false or did not believe it was true.

The offence is triggered where the trier of fact cannot decide which statement is false.

The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison if you were on trial for perjury, or 5 years if you were on trial for making a false statement on oath not amounting to perjury.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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