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Obscene Exposure

Obscene exposure is an offence under section 5 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison

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

  1. You were in or within view of a public place or school
  2. You obscenely exposed yourself, and
  3. You did so wilfully.

A public place is defined as:

A place or part of a premises that is open to, or used by the public, whether or not for payment, and whether or not only open to a limited class of persons it includes:

  1. Shopping centres and stores within them
  2. Restaurants, pubs and clubs, and
  3. Sporting venues

‘Obscene’ has been interpreted by the courts to mean conduct which ‘Offends against the susceptibilities of the citizen by violating… contemporary standards’

‘Wilfully’ means intentionally so, being ‘dacked’ would not suffice, provided you pulled your pants up in a timely manner nor would passers-by seeing you naked in your home, provided you did not know you could be seen from a public place

The offence is most frequently prosecuted where a person intentionally exposes his or her genitalia in public, or in view of a public place however, context is crucial to the determination of the charge for example, section 633(6) of the Local Government Amendment (Nude Bathing) Act 1996 lists a number of beaches where it is permissible to bath naked

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