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Murder

Murder is an offence under section 18 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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

  1. That you voluntarily committed an act or made an omission.
  2. Which caused the death of another person
  3. With the intention to kill, or with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm, or with reckless indifference to human life, or during an attempt to commit, or during or after the commission of, an offence punishable by at least 25 years in prison.

You must be found not guilty if the prosecution is unable to prove each of these ‘elements’ .

Self-defence is a complete defence to murder, it is available where you believed your conduct was necessary to protect you, or another person, or to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of your liberty or that of another person, and your conduct was a reasonable response to the circumstances as you perceived them at the time.

If evidence of self-defence is raised the prosecution must ‘negative’ that defence beyond a reasonable doubt. If it is unable to do so, you must be found not guilty.

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