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Military-Style Training Involving a Foreign Government Principal

Military-style training involving a foreign government principal is an offence under section 83.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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

  1. You provided, received or participated in training
  2. The training involved using arms or practising military exercises, movements or evolutions, and
  3. The training was provided on behalf of a foreign government principal or a foreign political organisation, or was directed, funded or supervised by a foreign government principal, or a foreign political organisation, or by a person acting on behalf of a foreign government principal or a foreign political organisation.

A ‘foreign government principal’ includes:

  1. The government of a foreign country or part thereof
  2. An authority of a foreign government or part thereof
  3. A foreign local government body or foreign regional government body, or
  4. A company to which any of the above applies.

A ‘foreign political organisation’ includes:

  1. A foreign political party
  2. A foreign organisation that exists primarily to pursue political objectives, or
  3. A foreign organisation that exists to pursue militant, extremist or revolutionary objectives.

You are not guilty of the offence if your conduct:

  1. Was authorised under a written agreement involving the Commonwealth
  2. Was solely in the course of, and part of, service in the armed forces of a foreign country and you were not in, and your conduct was not funded by, a terrorist organisation
  3. Was solely or primarily for humanitarian purposes, or
  4. Was part of performing an official duty for the UN or Red Cross.

Proceedings for the offence cannot be commenced without the Attorney-General’s consent.

Other defences to the charge include self-defence and duress.

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