Recent Cases

Bell v Tasmania [2021] HCA 42 (08 December 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Catchwords:


Criminal law – Defences – Honest and reasonable mistake of fact – Where appellant charged with supplying controlled drug to child contrary to s 14 of Misuse of Drugs Act 2001 (Tas) – Where appellant claimed he honestly and reasonably believed child was adult – Where appellant’s conduct, had his belief been true, would have constituted lesser offence of supplying controlled drug contrary to s 26 of Misuse of Drugs Act – Where common law principle of honest and reasonable mistake of fact operates to excuse conduct that, on believed state of facts, would be innocent – Meaning of “innocent” – Whether appellant entitled to rely on excuse of honest and reasonable mistake of fact.

Words and phrases – “common law principle”, “criminal responsibility”, “excuse”, “ground of exculpation”, “honest and reasonable but mistaken belief in the existence of any state of facts”, “innocent”, “justification”, “mistake as to age”, “voluntary and intentional”.