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False Statement Under Oath

What the law says

Sections 193 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  • (a) Any person who, on any occasion on which a person making a statement touching any matter is required by law to make it on oath or under some sanction which may by law be substituted for an oath, or is required to verify it by solemn declaration or affirmation, makes a statement touching such matter which, in any material particular, is to the person's knowledge false, and verifies it on oath or under such other sanction or by solemn declaration or affirmation, 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.

  1. On an occasion on which the accused was making a statement touching on any matter which statement was required by law to be made on oath.
  2. The accused made a statement touching such matter
  3. The statement contained a material particular which was false.
  4. A particular is material if it was of such significance that it was capable of affecting the decision of a person who would be acting on the statement.
  5. The accused knew it was false at the time
  6. The accused verified the statement on oath.

The accused cannot be convicted upon the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.

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 False Statement under Oath 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. Honest and reasonable belief the statement was true
  2. Oath was not properly administered
  3. Matter sworn to, was not material to the statement.
  4. The accused did not know the statement was false.
  5. Statement was true.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in False Statement under Oath matters)


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