Membership of a Terrorist Organisation

Membership of a Terrorist Organisation

In Australia, Membership of a Terrorist Organisation is found in section 102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who was found to be a member of a terrorist organisation. For this charge to apply, the person must have known that the organisation was a terrorist organization.

Have you been accused of being a Member of a Terrorist Organisation? This is a particularly sensitive offence and it is important you contact our office immediately after being notified of any accusations of this kind.

Member terrorist organisation
Police Interview
Do the Police want to speak to you about an allegation of membership of a terrorist organisation? Do you know what you will say? It is crucial you understand Police want to speak to you because they suspect you have committed an offence. Police are likely to have decided to charge you already, and will be hoping you will make admissions to membership of a terrorist organisation, which can then be used against you in court to prove the charge.

An interview with Police is not an opportunity for you to tell your side of the story, it is not a process that is designed to be fair to you. You will not be provided with any information Police already have (statements and other evidence) in advance of the interview.

You should contact our office and set up a conference before you attend a Police interview. We can assist you in understanding the process and making sure you are properly informed and prepared.

We recommend considering having one of our lawyers attend the interview with you. Our lawyers ensure Police conduct the process in a proper manner and comply with all relevant procedures.

Pleading Not Guilty
We have lawyers who are experts in representing people charged with membership of a terrorist organisation. We will analyse the case against you and assist in building a case to show you are not guilty. We will secure evidence the Police have over-looked which shows your innocence.

Pleading Guilty
If you decide to plead guilty to membership of a terrorist organisation we are best placed to ensure you receive the most favourable outcome. We can negotiate with prosecution, amend the charges and facts if possible, and assist you in preparing for your plea hearing by gathering relevant and useful materials, such as references and reports. We are confident in our ability to conduct a persuasive plea for the offence of membership of a terrorist organisation, explain your version of events, and secure the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

You must understand that this is an extremely serious allegation with serious consequences. We will advise you of all the things you need to know so you are properly informed.
The offence of being a member of a terrorist organisation is heard in the Supreme Court.
 
What is the legal definition of Membership of a Terrorist Organisation?
The Prosecution must prove that the accused intentionally and knowingly was a member of a Terrorist Organisation.

“Did you know you were a member of a Terrorist Organisation?”

Examples of Membership of a Terrorist Organisation
  • A man knows that ISIS is a recognised Terrorist Organisation. He believes in the ISIS agenda and wants to fight with ISIS in Syria. He joins the group online becoming a member.
  • A woman joins Al Nusra in Lebanon and becomes an active member of the group.
Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
 
  • You are not a member of a Terrorist Organisation.
  • You did not intentionally become a member.
  • You did not know the organisation was a Terrorist Organisation.
  • As soon as you found out the organisation was a Terrorist Organisation, you took all reasonable steps to cease being a member.
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
  • Did you know that you were a member?
  • Did you know the organisation was a Terrorist Organisation?
  • Did you intend to join the organisation?

The maximum penalty for Membership of a Terrorist Organisation (s102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995) is imprisonment for 10 years.

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If you are found guilty of this offence, you would generally expect to spend some time in prison.