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Urging to Overthrow the Government by Force

Urging to Overthrow the Government by Force is an offence under Section 80.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You urged another person to engage in force
  2. Your intention in doing so was to facilitate the overthrowal of the federal government, or the lawful authority of the federal government, or a state or territory government, or the Commonwealth constitution
  3. You did so intentionally or recklessly

You are not guilty if you acted in ‘good faith’, which includes:

  1. Trying to show that the sovereign, governor-general, state governor, territory administrator or their advisers were mistaken in their ‘counsels, policies or actions’
  2. Pointing out errors or defects in government, the constitution, legislation or the administration of justice to correct them, or
  3. Attempting to lawfully make a change to a policy, practice or law

The onus is on you to establish that defence ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

Other defences to the charge include:

  1. Self defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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