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Retaliation Against Judicial Officer, Juror, Witness

What the law says

Sections 119B of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. (1) A person who, without reasonable cause, causes, or threatens to cause, any injury or detriment to a judicial officer, juror, witness or member of a community justice group, or a member of the family of a judicial officer, juror, witness or member of a community justice group, in retaliation because of-
    • (a) anything lawfully done by the judicial officer as a judicial officer; or
    • (b) anything lawfully done by the juror or witness in any judicial proceeding;
    • (c) anything lawfully done by a member of a community justice group a representative of which makes a submission-
      • (i) to a court or police officer under the Bail Act 1980 about a defendant who is an aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person; or
      • (ii) to a court or police officer under the Juvenile Justice Act 1992 about a child who is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: or
      • (iii) to a court under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 about an offender who is an aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
      is guilty of a crime.
  2. (2) In this section
    Community justice groupmeans
    • (a) for a defendant under the Bail Act 1980-see Bail Act 1980 s6
    • (b) for a child under the Juvenile Justice Act 1992-see Juvenile Justice Act 1992, Schedule 4; or
    • (c) for an offender under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992-see Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, s4.

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. without reasonable cause;
  2. causes or threatens to cause;
  3. any injury or detriment;
  4. to a judicial officer, juror or witness or a member of the family of the judicial officer, juror or witness.
  5. In retaliation because of:
    • (a) anything lawfully done by the judicial officer as a judicial officer; or
    • (b) anything lawfully done by the juror or witness in any judicial proceeding.

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 Retaliation Against Judicial Officer, Juror 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. Identification i.e. not the accused
  2. The person was not a judicial officer, juror or witness.
  3. The person was a judicial officer, juror or witness but was not acting in the capacity as a judicial officer, juror at the time.
  4. The judicial officer, juror or witness was not acting lawfully.
  5. The accused did not threaten or cause threats to be made.
  6. It was not a judicial proceeding.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Retaliation Against Judicial Officer, Juror, Witness matters)

 

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