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Murdering an Australian Citizen or Resident Overseas

Murdering an Australian citizen or resident overseas is an offence under section 115.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or the maximum penalty that applied at that time the offence occurred If it happened before 1 October 2002.

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

  1. You engaged in conduct outside Australia,
  2. Your conduct caused the death of another person,
  3. The other person was a citizen or resident of Australia, and,
  4. You intended to cause, or were reckless as to causing, the death of an Australian citizen or resident or any other person you ‘caused the death’ if your conduct substantially contributed to it.

You were ‘reckless’ if you were aware there was a substantial risk that your conduct would cause death and it was unjustifiable to take that risk but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

You cannot be found guilty if you had already been convicted or acquitted of an offence relating to the same conduct under laws of the country or part thereof where your conduct occurred.

Self-defence is a legal defence to the charge.

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