Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code), a terrorist organisation is an organisation that:
- has been found by a court, in the course of a prosecution for a terrorism offence, to be either directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
- has been listed in Regulations made by the Governor-General.
Under the Criminal Code, the Governor-General may make regulations listing a terrorist organisation if the Minister for Home Affairs is satisfied that the organisation:
- is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in, or fostering the doing of a terrorist act; or
- advocates the doing of a terrorist act.
Terrorist Organisations factsheet summarises Australia's terrorist organisation laws and relevant offences.
Listed terrorist organisations.
For more information on the process and requirements that apply to the listing of terrorist organisations, see Protocol for listing terrorist organisations.
Offences relating to terrorist organisations
It is important that our laws target not only terrorist acts, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out such acts. In 2002, a range of terrorist organisation offences were inserted into the Criminal Code:
- directing the activities of a terrorist organisation
- membership of a terrorist organisation
- recruiting for a terrorist organisation
- training involving a terrorist organisation
- getting funds to, from, or for a terrorist organisation
- providing support to a terrorist organisation.
These carry penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment.
Providing support to a terrorist organisation means intentionally providing any support or resources that would help the organisation prepare, plan, assist in, or foster the doing of a terrorist act.
- A terrorist act does not cover engaging in advocacy, protest, dissent or industrial action where there is no intention to cause harm to others.
- To be found guilty, a person must have known that the organisation was a terrorist organisation, or have been reckless as to whether it was a terrorist organisation.
Associating with a terrorist organisation
It is also an offence to intentionally associate with a person who is a member of a terrorist organisation. This carries a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment.
Associating with a terrorist organisation is prohibited if the person knows they are associating with a member of a terrorist organisation or a person who promotes or directs the activities of a terrorist organisation, if the association occurs two or more times, and if the association is in support of the organisation.
This offence does not relate to association that relates to family or domestic matters, occurs as part of public religious worship, is for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid, or is for the purpose of providing legal advice or legal representation in connection with certain matters.