Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000


Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000


1.Short title1




5.Actions in respect of harm suffered by offenders barred3


Compilation table4

Defined terms


Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000

An Act to prevent offenders and others from taking legal action in respect of harm suffered in the course of committing an offence.

1.Short title

This Act may be cited as the Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000.


This Act comes into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.


(1)In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears —

action means an action in tort, an action of a similar kind to an action in tort, or an action under the Fatal Accidents Act 1959;

criminal conduct means —

(a)the commission of an offence; or

(b)anything done or omitted to be done for the purpose of the commission of an offence, including —

(i)planning it;

(ii)preparing for it;

(iii)travelling to or from the place where it is committed;

(iv)concealing it;

(v)disposing of anything used in the course of it or obtained from it.

(2)A reference in subsection (1) to an offence is a reference to —

(a)an indictable offence against a written law or a law of another State, a Territory or the Commonwealth; or

(b)conduct that —

(i)constitutes an offence against a law of another country for which a person could be sentenced, on conviction in that country, to imprisonment for a period of not less than 2 years or for an indefinite period; and

(ii)would, if it had taken place in this State, have constituted an indictable offence against a written law.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2) an offence is indictable if the trial of that offence can or has to be by jury.

[Section 3 amended: No. 77 of 2003 s. 73.]


This Act applies to an action whether the cause of action arose before or after the coming into operation of this Act.

5.Actions in respect of harm suffered by offenders barred

(1)It is a defence to an action in respect of injury or loss suffered by a person (the offender) for the defendant to show that the injury or loss was suffered in the course of criminal conduct by the offender.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply if the person bringing the action can show that the injury or loss suffered by the offender —

(a)arose from an unlawful act that was intended to result in the offender suffering injury or loss; or

(b)arose from circumstances —

(i)which were entirely separate from those to which the offender was exposed by reason of being engaged in criminal conduct; and

(ii)to which the offender was exposed in common with other persons who were not engaged in criminal conduct.

(3)This section has effect despite anything in section 5 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1985.



1This is a compilation of the Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000 and includes the amendments made by the other written laws referred to in the following table.

Compilation table

Short title

Number and year



Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000

46 of 2000

17 Nov 2000

17 Nov 2000 (see s. 2)

Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 s. 73

77 of 2003

15 Dec 2003

1 Jan 2004 (see s. 2 and Gazette 30 Dec 2003 p. 5722)



Defined terms


[This is a list of terms defined and the provisions where they are defined. The list is not part of the law.]

Defined termProvision(s)


criminal conduct3(1)

the offender5(1)