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AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION ACT 1979 - SECT 35P

Unauthorised disclosure of information

Disclosures by entrusted persons

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is, or has been, an entrusted person; and

                     (b)  information came to the knowledge or into the possession of the person in the person's capacity as an entrusted person; and

                     (c)  the person discloses the information; and

                     (d)  the information relates to a special intelligence operation.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

Note:          Recklessness is the fault element for paragraphs (1)(b) and (d)--see section 5.6 of the Criminal Code .

          (1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(a).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

          (1B)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is, or has been, an entrusted person; and

                     (b)  information came to the knowledge or into the possession of the person in the person's capacity as an entrusted person; and

                     (c)  the person discloses the information; and

                     (d)  the information relates to a special intelligence operation; and

                     (e)  either or both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the person intends to endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation;

                             (ii)  the disclosure will endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

Note:          Recklessness is the fault element for paragraphs (1B)(b) and (d) and subparagraph (1B)(e)(ii)--see section 5.6 of the Criminal Code .

          (1C)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1B)(a).

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

Other disclosures

             (2)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person discloses information; and

                     (b)  the information relates to a special intelligence operation; and

                     (c)  the disclosure will endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

Note:          Recklessness is the fault element for paragraphs (2)(b) and (c)--see section 5.6 of the Criminal Code .

          (2A)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person discloses information; and

                     (b)  the information relates to a special intelligence operation; and

                     (c)  either or both of the following subparagraphs apply:

                              (i)  the person intends to endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation;

                             (ii)  the person knows that the disclosure will endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.

Note:          Recklessness is the fault element for paragraph (2A)(b)--see section 5.6 of the Criminal Code .

Exceptions

             (3)  Subsections (1) to (2A) do not apply if the disclosure was:

                     (a)  in connection with the administration or execution of this Division; or

                     (b)  for the purposes of any legal proceedings arising out of or otherwise related to this Division or of any report of any such proceedings; or

                     (c)  in accordance with any requirement imposed by law; or

                     (d)  in connection with the performance of functions or duties, or the exercise of powers, of the Organisation; or

                     (e)  for the purpose of obtaining legal advice in relation to the special intelligence operation; or

                      (f)  to an IGIS official for the purpose of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security exercising powers, or performing functions or duties, under the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 ; or

                     (g)  by an IGIS official in connection with the IGIS official exercising powers, or performing functions or duties, under that Act.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection--see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

          (3A)  Subsections (2) and (2A) do not apply to a person disclosing information if:

                     (a)  the information has already been communicated, or made available, to the public (the prior publication ); and

                     (b)  the person was not involved in the prior publication (whether directly or indirectly); and

                     (c)  at the time of the disclosure, the person believes that the disclosure:

                              (i)  will not endanger the health or safety of any person; and

                             (ii)  will not prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation; and

                     (d)  having regard to the nature, extent and place of the prior publication, the person has reasonable grounds for that belief.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (3A)--see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

Extended geographical jurisdiction

             (4)  Section 15.4 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction--category D) applies to an offence against subsection (1), (1B), (2) or (2A).

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not, by implication, affect the interpretation of any other provision of this Act.



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