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Threatening or Intimidating a Judicial Officer

Threatening or intimidating a judicial officer is an offence under section 322(c) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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

  1. You did or caused any injury or detriment to a person or threatened to do so
  2. The person was a judicial officer, and
  3. You intended by doing so to influence the person in his or her conduct as a judicial officer

A ‘judicial officer’ is a person who is, or who alone or with others constitutes, a judicial tribunal.

A ‘judicial tribunal’ is any person or any court or other body authorised by law or by the consent of the parties to conduct a hearing to determine any matter or thing.

This includes:

  1. A coroner
  2. A Magistrate in the Local or Children’s court
  3. A judge in the District Court, and
  4. A justice in the Supreme or High Court

The maximum penalty increases to 14 years in prison where the prosecution is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you intended by your conduct to procure the conviction or acquittal of any person for a serious indictable offence.

A ‘serious indictable offence’ is one that carries a maximum penalty of at least 5 years in prison.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Self-defence, including the defence of another.

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