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Strict Liability

Strict Liability Definitions :

Division 6 — Cases where fault elements are not required

6.1   Strict liability

             (1)  If a law that creates an offence provides that the offence is an offence of strict liability:

                     (a)  there are no fault elements for any of the physical elements of the offence; and

                     (b)  the defence of mistake of fact under section 9.2 is available.

(2)  If a law that creates an offence provides that strict liability applies to a particular physical element of the offence:

(a)  there are no fault elements for that physical element; and

(b)  the defence of mistake of fact under section 9.2 is available in relation to that physical element.

(3)  The existence of strict liability does not make any other defence unavailable.

9.2   Mistake of fact (strict liability)

             (1)  A person is not criminally responsible for an offence that has a physical element for which there is no fault element if:

                     (a)  at or before the time of the conduct constituting the physical element, the person considered whether or not facts existed, and is under a mistaken but reasonable belief about those facts; and

                     (b)  had those facts existed, the conduct would not have constituted an offence.

(2)  A person may be regarded as having considered whether or not facts existed if:

(a)  he or she had considered, on a previous occasion, whether those facts existed in the circumstances surrounding that occasion; and

(b)  he or she honestly and reasonably believed that the circumstances surrounding the present occasion were the same, or substantially the same, as those surrounding the previous occasion.

Note:         Section 6.2 prevents this section applying in situations of absolute liability.

AND:

Division 10 — Circumstances involving external factors

10.1   Intervening conduct or event

                   A person is not criminally responsible for an offence that has a physical element to which absolute liability or strict liability applies if:

                     (a)  the physical element is brought about by another person over whom the person has no control or by a non-human act or event over which the person has no control; and

                     (b)  the person could not reasonably be expected to guard against the bringing about of that physical element.

10.2   Duress

             (1)  A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if he or she carries out the conduct constituting the offence under duress.

(2)  A person carries out conduct under duress if and only if he or she reasonably believes that:

(a)  a threat has been made that will be carried out unless an offence is committed; and

(b)  there is no reasonable way that the threat can be rendered ineffective; and

(c)  the conduct is a reasonable response to the threat.

(3)  This section does not apply if the threat is made by or on behalf of a person with whom the person under duress is voluntarily associating for the purpose of carrying out conduct of the kind actually carried out.

10.3   Sudden or extraordinary emergency

             (1)  A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if he or she carries out the conduct constituting the offence in response to circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency.

(2)  This section applies if and only if the person carrying out the conduct reasonably believes that:

(a)  circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency exist; and

(b)  committing the offence is the only reasonable way to deal with the emergency; and

(c)  the conduct is a reasonable response to the emergency.

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