Murder (Australian law)
Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime...
Under New South Wales State law, the maximum penalty for murder is life imprisonment with a standard non-parole period of 20 years, or 25 years for the murder of a child under the age of 18, and a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if the victim is a police officer or public official. Attempted murder carries a maximum penalty of life or 25 years' imprisonment. Note that in order to be guilty of murder under the NSW Crimes Act, intent to cause grievous bodily harm is enough to secure a conviction for murder, as is felony murder (constructive murder in Australia).
There is a statutory defence of provocation in NSW law; if provocation is proven and the person would have otherwise been convicted of murder, directs the jury to find the defendant not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
However, this is not the case in Victoria, Tasmania or Western Australia - the Crimes Act 1958 (VIC), in Section 3B, states:
The rule of law that provocation reduces the crime of murder to manslaughter is abolished.—
In any jurisdiction within Australia, the maximum penalty for murder is life imprisonment; this is the mandatory penalty in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
- Crimes Act 1900 - Section 18 Murder and manslaughter defined
- Crimes Act 1900 §§ 27-30
- Ryan v R (1967) 121 CLR 205 Austlii; see also R v Munro (1981) 4 A Crim R 67AustLII
- Crimes Act 1900 § 23; see also Stingel v R (1990) 171 CLR 312 Austlii
- Crimes Act 1958 - Section 3B Provocation no longer a partial defence to murder