Offences against the person

Key statutes

  • Crimes Act 1961
  • Crimes of Torture Act 1989
  • Harassment Act 1997
  • Maritime Crimes Act 1999
  • Summary Offences Act 1981
  • Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
  • Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Act 2019

Key secondary legislation

  • Crimes (Interception Warrants) Regulations 2003

Information/links to recent or currently underway reviews

The Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 (TSA) was amended in 2021. The changes included ensuring the criminalisation of conduct that causes harm, or has a serious risk of causing harm, to people:

• making amendments to clarify the definition of a 'terrorist act'

• creating a new offence to criminalise planning or preparation for a terrorist act

• creating a new offence to more clearly criminalise terrorist weapons and combat training

• creating a new offence for international travel to carry out terrorist activities

• expanding the criminal offence of financing terrorism to include broader forms of material support

• extending the eligibility for a control order to include individuals who have completed a prison sentence for a terrorism-related offence if they continue to present a real risk of engaging in terrorism-related activities.

Maritime Crimes Act 1999 - amended in 2017 by the Maritime Crimes Amendment Act 2017, including clarification of enforcement officers’ powers to board and search ships. The Act implements obligations under two maritime counter-terrorism treaties to ensure the maritime security framework can respond to contemporary transnational terrorist threats.

Crimes Act 1961 - amended by the Crimes Act Amendment Act 2019. Several of these changes ensured that, where a person was criminally harmed, the offender could not escape prosecution:

• repealed three provisions in the Crimes Act (blasphemous libel, the ‘death within a year and a day’ rule, and immunity for spouses and civil union partners in cases where they would otherwise be an accessory after-the-fact to an offence); and

• increased the penalty for theft of animals from agricultural land.

The Crimes (Definition of Female Genital Mutilation) Amendment Act 2020 also amended the Crimes Act, by updating the definition of female genital mutilation.

Summary Offences Act 1961 - last amended by the Family Violence Act 2018 that created an offence of associating with violent offenders in breach of an order under the FVA.