Membership of a Terrorist Organisation
– section 102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
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.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Membership of a Terrorist Organisation?
- 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?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
The offence of being a member of a terrorist organisation is heard in the Supreme Court.
“Did you know you were a member of a Terrorist Organisation?”
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.
The section that covers this offence is section 102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.1
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.
Other Important Resources
- FindLaw: Membership of a Terrorist Organisation
- Terrorism Law (Australia)
- Benbrika and 11 Others
- Criminal Code Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 10)
 Criminal Code Act 1995 – Section 102.3
(a) the person intentionally is a member of an organisation; and
(b) the organisation is a terrorist organisation; and
(c) the person knows the organisation is a terrorist organisation.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person proves that he or she took all reasonable steps to cease to be a member of the organisation as soon as practicable after the person knew that the organisation was a terrorist organisation.