Recent Cases

Director of Public Prosecutions (Cth) v Kola [2024] HCA 14 (17 April 2024) (Gageler CJ; Steward, Gleeson, Jagot and Beech-Jones JJ)


Criminal practice – Trial – Directions to jury – Conspiracy – Where respondent found guilty of conspiracy to import commercial quantity of border controlled drug contrary to ss 11.5(1) and 307.1(1) of Criminal Code (Cth) – Where s 11.5(7A) provided that any special liability provisions that apply to an offence apply also to offence of conspiracy to commit that offence – Where s 307.1(3) provided absolute liability applies to physical element of offence of importing border controlled drug – Where Court of Appeal of Supreme Court of South Australia found element of conspiracy charged was that conduct in which conspirators agreed to engage would have resulted in importation of a commercial quantity had agreement been successfully executed – Where Court of Appeal found evidential material concerning what would have been imported confined to conduct in which respondent agreed to engage and circumstances in which respondent believed and intended conduct to be carried out – Whether trial judge failed to properly direct jury on element of offence regarding quantity – Whether trial judge’s directions wrongly permitted jury to have regard to conduct of co‑conspirators engaged in outside of respondent’s presence in determining scope of conspiratorial agreement.

Words and phrases – “absolute liability”, “agreement to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug”, “conspiracy”, “co‑conspirators rule”, “elements of the offence”, “intention”, “pursuant to the agreement”, “scope of the conspiracy”, “special liability provision”.