Recent Cases

Taylor v Attorney-General (Cth) [2019] HCA 30 (11 September 2019) ( Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Criminal practice – Private prosecution – Authority to prosecute – Where private citizen sought to commence criminal proceeding for offence of crime against humanity contrary to s 268.11 of Criminal Code (Cth) – Where offence located within Div 268 of Criminal Code – Where s 268.121(1) provides that proceedings under Div 268 must not be commenced without Attorney-General’s written consent – Where Attorney-General did not consent – Where s 268.121(2)

of Criminal Code provides that offence against Div 268 “may only be prosecuted in the name of the Attorney-General” – Where s 13(a) of Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) provides that any person may “institute proceedings for the commitment for trial of any person in respect of any indictable offence against the law of the Commonwealth” unless contrary intention appears – Whether s 268.121(2) expresses contrary intention for purpose of s 13(a) – Whether s 268.121(2) precludes private prosecution of offence against Div 268.

Words and phrases – “commencement of proceedings”, “committal”, “consent”,

“consent of the Attorney-General”, “contrary intention”, “crime against humanity”, “in the name of”, “indictable offence against the law of the Commonwealth”, “private prosecution”, “prosecuted in the name of the Attorney- General”, “relator proceeding”, “right to prosecute”, “summary proceedings”, “trial on indictment”.