Collecting Or Making Documents Likely To Facilitate Terrorist Acts

– section 101.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995

Collecting Or Making Documents Likely To Facilitate Terrorist ActsCollecting or Making Documents Likely to Facilitate Terrorist Acts is used when someone gathers or creates documents used for planning or doing a terrorist act.

The term terrorist act is broad and can include a number of actions connected to terrorism. You can be convicted of terrorist offences if you intended to commit a terrorist act or if you were reckless as to whether your actions may cause a terrorist act. Therefore the concept of ‘intention’ is an important consideration in these types of matters.

Examples of Collecting Or Making Documents Likely To Facilitate Terrorist Acts
  • You have work in a job that allows you access to private information regarding an iconic city building or space. You give that information to someone knowing their intention is to use it and cause harm or destruction.
  • You have work in a job that allows you access to private information regarding an iconic city building or space. A friend asks you for some information and although you think it is strange you pass on the information and a terrorist act occurs.
  • You create fake access passes to assist in a terrorist act.
What are some of the possible defences to a Collecting Or Making Documents Likely To Facilitate Terrorist Acts charge?
  • There was no intention that the document helped prepare or do a terrorist act.
  • The person was not aware that the document had any connection to a terrorist act.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • In what way were the documents made or collected?
  • How were they connected to the terrorist act?
  • Was it a terrorist act?
  • What was your intention?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment. This is a Commonwealth offence, meaning it will be heard in the Supreme Court.

“Have you been charged with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts?”
What is the legal definition of Collecting Or Making Documents Likely To Facilitate Terrorist Acts?

In legal terms, Collecting or Making Documents Likely to Facilitate Terrorist Acts has 3 basic parts. They are:

  1. A person collects or makes a document; and
  2. The document is connected to planning or doing a terrorist act; and
  3. The person knew that there was a connection, or a likely connection, to a terrorist act.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 101.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995:

  1. A person commits an offence if:
    1. the person collects or makes a document; and
    2. the document is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act; and
    3. the person mentioned in paragraph (a) knows of the connection described in paragraph (b).

    Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years.

  2. A person commits an offence if:
    1. the person collects or makes a document; and
    2. the document is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act; and
    3. the person mentioned in paragraph (a) is reckless as to the existence of the connection described in paragraph (b).

    Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.

  3. A person commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) even if:
    1. a terrorist act does not occur; or
    2. the document is not connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a specific terrorist act; or
    3. the document is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in more than one terrorist act.
  4. Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction—category D) applies to an offence against this section.
  5. Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if the collection or making of the document was not intended to facilitate preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.
    Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (5) (see subsection 13.3(3)).
  6. If, in a prosecution for an offence (the prosecuted offence) against a subsection of this section, the trier of fact is not satisfied that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offence (the alternative offence) against another subsection of this section, the trier of fact may find the defendant not guilty of the prosecuted offence but guilty of the alternative offence, so long as the defendant has been accorded procedural fairness in relation to that finding of guilt.
Elements of the offence

The accused may be found guilty of this charge if the following elements are proven in court beyond reasonable doubt:

  • The accused collected or made a document; and
  • The document is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act; and
  • The accused knew of the connection, or was reckless as to the existence of the connection, of the document with a terrorist act.

prison penalty sentencing 

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

Given the nature of the charge you would almost inevitably expect to get a gaol term for a charge like this.

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