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Possessing, Controlling, Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Suicide-Related Material for Use Through a Carriage Service

Possessing, controlling, producing, supplying or obtaining suicide-related material for use through a carriage service is an offence under section 474.29B of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 1000 penalty units.

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

  1. You obtained, possessed, controlled, produced or supplied material
  2. The material counselled or incited the commission or attempted commission of suicide, or promoted or provided instruction on a particular method of committing suicide, and
  3. You intended the material to be used by you or another person to commit an offence against section 474.29A of the Act, which is the use of a carriage service for suicide-related material.

A ‘carriage service’ is:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’, which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions such as emails and social media messaging.

You cannot be found guilty of the offence merely because you used the carriage service to:

  1. Engage in public discussion or debate about euthanasia or suicide, or
  2. Advocate for law reform relating to euthanasia or suicide.

Provided you did not intend by doing so to:

  1. Promote or provide instruction regarding a method of committing suicide
  2. Intend for another to promote or provide instruction regarding a method of committing suicide
  3. Intend the material to be used by another to commit suicide, or
  4. Promote or provide instruction regarding a method of committing suicide.

Duress and necessity are legal defences to the charge.

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