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Terrorist Acts

A terrorist act is defined as an action or threat of action made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. Further to that intention the act coerces or intimidates a government agency or the public.

For an act to be defined as a terrorist act it must cause serious physical harm or death, serious damage to property, endanger life, create serious risk to public health/safety or interfere, disrupt or destroy and electronic system.
Man in Hoodie
The charge of Terrorist Acts is a very serious offence which is heard in the Supreme Court.
 
What is the legal definition of Terrorist Acts?
A person commits an offence if the person engages in a terrorist act.

Penalty: Imprisonment for life.

“Have you been accused of terrorism?”

Examples of Terrorist Acts
  • Driving a vehicle into a public place religious purposes.
  • Using a firearm in a public place for political purposes.
  • Blackmailing an arm of the government for ideological purposes.
Legislation
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 101.1 of Criminal Code Act 1995.

Elements of the offence
In essence to prove this charge the Prosecution must show that the accused engaged in a terrorist act.

A terrorist act is defined as an action or threat of action that is motivated by politics, ideology and/or religion and causes substantial damage or injury to government or people.
 
Defences to this could be that the accused did not engage in a terrorist act, that the accused’s act was not terrorism or wrongful identification.

Questions in cases like this
  • Was it an act of terrorism?
  • What was the scale of the alleged act of terrorist?
  • Was it motivated by religion, ideology or religion?
You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.
 

A person found guilty of  (s101.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995) may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life.