Recent Cases

Hurt v The King; Hurt v The King; Delzotto v The King [2024] HCA 8 (13 March 2024) (Gageler CJ; Edelman, Steward, Gleeson and Jagot JJ)


Criminal law – Sentencing – Appeal against sentence – Minimum sentences – Where s 16AAB of Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), inserted by Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) (“Amendment Act”), provided for minimum terms of imprisonment, subject to limited exceptions, for offences – Where offences included s 474.22A(1) of Criminal Code (Cth) (“Possessing or controlling child abuse material obtained or accessed using a carriage service”) – Where elements of offence included, relevantly, “the person has possession or control of material” and “the person used a carriage service to obtain or access the material” – Where transitional provision in Amendment Act required “relevant conduct … engaged in” to take place on or after commencement of amendments, including insertion of s 16AAB – Whether minimum sentence provides yardstick for calculation of appropriate penalty in addition to restricting sentencing power – Whether “relevant conduct” concerns only “conduct” element of offence or also “circumstance in which conduct … occurs”.

Words and phrases – “appropriate penalty”, “appropriate term of imprisonment”, “child sexual abuse offence”, “conduct”, “double function”, “engaged in”, “relevant conduct”, “restriction on power”, “sentencing”, “sentencing discretion”, “statutory minimum sentence”, “yardstick”.