Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Failure to protect vulnerable person from criminal offence

    (1)     A person commits an offence if—

        (a)     the person is a person in authority in a relevant institution (the  person in authority ); and

        (b)     there is a substantial risk that a serious offence will be committed against a vulnerable person under the institution's care, supervision or control by—

              (i)     a person associated with the institution; or

              (ii)     by another person in authority in the institution; and

        (c)     the person in authority is aware that the risk exists; and

        (d)     the person in authority can, because of the position the person occupies in the institution, reduce or remove the risk; and

        (e)     the person in authority recklessly or negligently fails to reduce or remove the risk.

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 5 years.

Note     A law that creates an offence applies to a corporation as well as to an individual (see Legislation Act

, s 161).

    (2)     In a prosecution for an offence against this section—

        (a)     it does not matter that an act or omission constituting the criminal offence happens, or is at risk of happening, outside the ACT if—

              (i)     the vulnerable person was in the ACT at any time the person in authority was aware that the risk mentioned in subsection (1) (b) existed; or

              (ii)     the person mentioned in subsection (1) (b) (i) or (ii) was a person associated with, or in authority in, a relevant institution in the ACT at any time the person in authority was aware that the risk existed; and

        (b)     it is not necessary to prove that a criminal offence has been committed.

    (3)     In this section:

"associated"—a person is associated with a relevant institution if the person—

        (a)     owns, manages or controls the institution; or

        (b)     is employed or engaged by the institution; or

        (c)     works as a volunteer for the institution; or

        (d)     engages in an activity with or for the institution; or

        (e)     is in any other position of authority in relation to the institution.

"relevant institution"—see section 36A (5).

"serious offence" means—

        (a)     an offence punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or longer; or

        (b)     an offence in another jurisdiction that would be an offence under paragraph (a) if committed in the ACT.

"vulnerable person"—see section 36A (5).

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