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Crimes Act 1900 NSW an Explanation

Crimes Act 1900 NSW an Explanation

Crimes Act 1900 NSW an Explanation

Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) governs the criminal law legislation in NSW. As this is the primary criminal law statute for NSW, it is an extensive document covering the bulk of criminal charges. The charges laid against an individual usually include a law part code.

Crimes Act 1900 NSW received royal assent on 31 October 1900. This means that it came into effect on that date. Accordingly, primary criminal offences in the state of New South Wales are covered by this act.

What type of criminal offences does it cover?

The act covers assault charges such as common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray, grievous bodily harm, fraud and self defence.

Murders cases are tried subject to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and are covered under section 18 of the act. The section states;

18 Murder and manslaughter defined

(1) (a) 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 punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.

(b) Every other punishable homicide shall be taken to be manslaughter.

(2) (a) No act or omission which was not malicious, or for which the accused had lawful cause or excuse, shall be within this section.

(b) No punishment or forfeiture shall be incurred by any person who kills another by misfortune only.

Moreover, the legislation also covers defences available to a defendant. This is covered under PART 11 – titled CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY—DEFENCES. This includes defences of self defence and intoxication.

Most charges are usually dealt with and finalised in the Local Court of NSW. However, for more serious offences, that are strictly indictable offences, which are finalised either in the District Court in NSW or the Supreme Court of NSW. For example, a charge of murder would start in the Local Court of NSW, but would be finalised in the Supreme Court of NSW.

What criminal offences does it Not cover?

Common charges which are not covered by the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) are, for example, are, covered by Crimes (DOMESTIC AND PERSONAL VIOLENCE) ACT 2007, which contains section 13 charge of stalk and intimidate. This legislation effectively covers avo law in NSW.

What about federal offences?

Federal offences are covered by Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The offences cover terrorism, property offences, fraud, forgery and national infrastructure. That is, usually very serious offences against the Commonwealth.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you should immediately contact a criminal defence lawyer.


  • Mohammad Khan | Criminal Defence Lawyer

    Mohammad Khan is the Principal Solicitor of Lyons Law Group. After graduating with a Bachelor of Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Mohammad took a keen interest in the law. He began training in criminal law under the tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda and studied law at the University of Sydney.