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Corrupting Benefits Given To, Or Received By, A Commonwealth Public Official

What the law says

Sections 142.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code states:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
    (a) the person dishonestly:

  1. Provides a benefit to another person; or
  2. Causes a benefit to be provided to another person; or
  3. Offers to provide, or promises to provide, a benefit to another person; or
  4. Causes an offer of the provision of a benefit, or a promise of the provision of a benefit, to be made to another person and

    (b) the receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a public official (who may be the other person) in the exercise of the officials duties as a public official; and
    (c) the public official is a Commonwealth public official; and
    (d) the duties are duties as a Commonwealth public official

(2) In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew:
    (a) That the official was a Commonwealth public official; or
    (b) That the duties were duties as a Commonwealth public official.

Receiving a Corrupting Benefit

(3) A commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:
    (a) The official dishonestly:

  1. Asks for a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
  2. Receives or obtains a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
  3. Agrees to receive or obtain a benefit for himself, herself or another person; and

    (b) The receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a Commonwealth public official (who may be the first-mentioned official) in the exercise of the official's duties as a Commonwealth public official.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) and (3), it is immaterial whether the benefit is in the nature of a reward.

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.

1. The accused dishonestly:
    (a) provided a benefit to another person; or
    (b) caused a benefit to be provided to another person; or
    (c) offered to provide, or promised to provide, a benefit to another person; or
    (d) caused an offer of the provision of a benefit, or a promise of the provision of a benefit, to be made to another person and
    (e) the receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a public official (who may be the other person) in the exercise of the officials duties as a public official; and
    (f) the public official is a Commonwealth public official; and
    (g) the duties are duties as a Commonwealth public official

In a prosecution for an offence against subsection(1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew:
    (a) That the official was a Commonwealth public official; or
    (b) That the duties were duties as a Commonwealth public official.

Receiving a Corrupting Benefit

1. The official dishonestly:
    (a) Asked for a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
    (b) Received or obtained a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
    (c) Agreed to receive or obtain a benefit for himself, herself or another person; and
    (a) The receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a Commonwealth public official (who may be the first-mentioned official) in the exercise of the official's duties as a Commonwealth public official.

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 Corrupting Benefits Given to, or Received by, a Commonwealth Public Official is 5 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

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

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. The accused did not dishonestly:
    (a) provide a benefit to another person; or
    (b) cause a benefit to be provided to another person; or
    (c) offer to provide, or promise to provide, a benefit to another person; or
    (d) cause an offer of the provision of a benefit, or a promise of the provision of a benefit, to be made to another person and
    (e) the receipt, or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would not tend to influence a public official (who may be the other person) in the exercise of the officials duties as a public official; and
    (f) the public official was not a Commonwealth public official; and
    (g) the duties were not duties as a Commonwealth public official

Receiving a Corrupting Benefit

1. The official did not dishonestly:
    (a) Ask for a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
    (b) Receive or obtain a benefit for himself, herself or another person; or
    (c) Agree to receive or obtain a benefit for himself, herself or another person; and
    (a) The receipt or expectation of the receipt, of the benefit would tend to influence a Commonwealth public official (who may be the first-mentioned official) in the exercise of the official's duties as a Commonwealth public official.

 

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