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Fabricated Official Documents

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Creating a deceitful official document to impede justice is a violation under section 318(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. You either crafted a fake official document or replicated an existing one, knowing its inauthenticity.
2. You intended to deceive someone into believing the document's authenticity.
3. Your objective was to use this misleading perception to obstruct justice.

Definitions include:

An 'official instrument' pertains to documents made by a public officer or a judicial body.

A 'public officer' holds powers or duties granted by any level of the Australian government.

A 'judicial tribunal' encompasses anyone authorised to hold hearings on legal matters.

A 'false document' is deceitfully presented regarding its creation, alteration, date, or place such as:

  • Created or produced in a form or with terms that includes someone who did not make it in that form did not have the authority to produce so, and with altercations of date or location .

Obstructing justice is described in section 312 of the Act as hindering the course or administration of justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Section 318 of the Crimes Act 1900 describes the ‘False Instrument to Pervert Course of Justice’ offence. The stipulations in this section highlight the consequences and specifications of the offence.

318 Making or utilising a false official instrument to pervert the course of justice

(1) For the purposes of this section: “official instrument” refers to an instrument that is created or issued by an individual in their capacity as a public officer or by a judicial tribunal.

(2) Anyone who creates a false official instrument or knowingly produces a copy of an instrument, intending that:

(a) either themselves or another person will use it to deceive someone into accepting the document as authentic or the copy as a genuine official instrument, and
(b) that acceptance will lead to the corruption of the justice process,
is subject to a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

(3) Anyone who utilises an instrument they know to be a false official document, or knowingly uses a copy of such an instrument, with the intent to:

(a) deceive another person into accepting the document as authentic or the copy as a genuine official instrument, and
(b) thereby perverting the course of justice,
is liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

(4) The interpretation of this section is subject to the provisions outlined in Section 250.

This offence relates to creating or altering official documents with the intent to deceive or defraud. It can include forging government certificates, licenses, or identification documents.

Penalties may include fines, imprisonment, and other punitive measures. The severity depends on the nature and intent of the document fabrication.

1. Coercion
2. Protecting oneself or another.

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