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Attempting To Pervert Justice

What the law says

Sections 140 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

A person who attempt to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of a crime.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

The accused:

  1. The defendant did the conduct alleged in the indictment.
  2. That the conduct alleged in the indictment had the tendency to pervert the course of justice, i.e. turn it aside from its proper course;
    The prosecution does not have to prove that the course of justice was perverted or would have been perverted. It is sufficient that the prosecution established that there was a real risk that injustice might result.
  3. That the defendant intended to pervert the course of justice by his actions.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Attempting to Pervert Justice is 7 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Necessity.
  2. Identification i.e. Not the accused.
  3. Honest and reasonable belief that the action would not have perverted the course of justice.
  4. Action was not intended to pervert the course of justice.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Attempting to Pervert Justice matters)


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