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Directing the Activities of a Terrorist Organisation

– section 102.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995

Directing the Activities of a Terrorist Organisation is when someone manages and coordinates the activities of a terrorist organisation.
This type of offence is heard in the Supreme Court.
 
Examples of Directing the Activities of a Terrorist Organisation
  • A leader in a terrorist organisation supervisors the preparation of a terrorist attack
  • Someone in a terrorist organisation coordinates and manages the carrying out of a terrorist attack
  • Someone in a terrorist organisation co-ordinates the meetings and briefings of a terrorist organisation
  • A leader in a terrorist organisation manages the recruiting and training of members
What is the legal definition of Directing the Activities of a Terrorist Organisation?
Intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organisation.

The Law
The section that covers this offence is section 102.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Elements of the offence
The prosecution needs to prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt to prove that a person is guilty of this charge:

  1. The accused intentionally directed the activities of an organisation; and
  2. The organisation was a terrorist organisation; and
  3. The accused knew that the organisation was a terrorist organisation; or
  4. The accused was reckless as to whether the organisation was a terrorist organisation.
A person will be found guilty if elements 1, 2 or 3 or elements 1, 2 and 4 are satisfied.

Element 1: The accused intentionally directed the activities of an organisation
The prosecution must first prove that the accused intentionally directed the activities of an organisation.

An ‘organisation’ is defined as a body corporate or unincorporated body, whether or not the organisation is based outside Australia, consists persons who are not Australian citizens or is part of a larger organisation.1

The accused must have intentionally directed the organisation to satisfy the first element of the offence.

Element 2: The organisation was a terrorist organisation
The prosecution must then prove that the organisation was a terrorist organisation. A ‘terrorist organisation’ means an organisation that is specified by the regulations as a listed terrorist organisation.2

“Can they prove that the organisation was a terrorist organisation?”
Element 3: The accused knew that the organisation was a terrorist organisation
To prove the third element of the offence, the prosecution must prove that the accused knew the organisation was a terrorist organisation.

If the prosecution successfully establishes elements 1, 2 and 3 of the offence, then the accused will face a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment.

Element 4: The accused was reckless as to whether the organisation was a terrorist organisation
To prove the fourth element of the offence, the prosecution must prove that the accused was reckless as to whether the organisation was a terrorist organisation. This will be the case if the accused is aware that there is a ‘substantial risk’ that the organisation is a terrorist organisation.3


[1] Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) s 100.1
[2] Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) s 100.1
[3] Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) s 5.4

 
  • You are not in a terrorist organisation
  • You have not directed any activities in a terrorist organisation
  • The organisation you are in is not a terrorist organisation
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 that are asked in cases like this:
  • What does it mean to direct activities?
  • Can they prove that you were involved in a terrorist organisation?
  • Can they prove that you directed any activities?

The maximum penalty for this offence is:

  • 25 years imprisonment in circumstances where a person knew the organisation was a terrorist organisation; or
  • 15 years imprisonment in circumstances where a person was reckless as to whether the organisation was a terrorist organisation.

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If found guilty, you will be sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.