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Recklessly Causing Serious Harm to an Australian Citizen or Resident Overseas

Recklessly causing serious harm to an Australian citizen or resident overseas Is an offence under section 115.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

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

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

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

Self-defence, duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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