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Incest - QLD

What the law says

Section 222 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

1. Any person

  • (a) who has carnal knowledge with or of the person's offspring or other lineal descendent, or sibling, parents, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece and
  • (b) knows that the other person bears that the relationship to him or her, or some relationship of that type to him or her commits a crime.

3. It is immaterial that the act or attempted act of carnal knowledge happened with the consent of either person.

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 had carnal knowledge of the complainant Carnal Knowledge means the insertion of the penis into the genitalia (or anus). Penetration to the slightest degree is sufficient. Ejaculation is not necessary.
  2. The complainant is the accused's offspring (or other lineal descendent or sibling, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece).
  3. The accused knew, at the time, that the complainant was his offspring (including half, adoptive or step relationship.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Incest is life imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is an indictable offence which is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to 

  1. The accused person was at the time when the act or attempted act of carnal knowledge happened, was acting under the coercion of the other person.
  2. Identification of the accused
  3. Honest and reasonable belief the complainant was not related to him/her.

N.B. Lineal descendants include step-children.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in sexual related matters)


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