Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Public display of Nazi symbols

    (1)     A person commits an offence if—

        (a)     the person displays a Nazi symbol; and

        (b)     the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the symbol is associated with Nazi ideology; and

        (c)     the display is other than in private.

Examples—other than in private

1     displaying the symbol at an event that is open to the public, even if privately organised

2     including the symbol in a publicly viewable post on social media

3     displaying the symbol during a video-recorded interview that is intended to be broadcast

4     wearing the symbol on a piece of clothing in a public place, or within sight of a person who is in a public place

Maximum penalty: 120 penalty units, imprisonment for 12 months or both.

    (2)     Subsection (1) does not apply to a person if—

        (a)     the Nazi symbol is displayed on the person's body by means of tattooing or similar process; or

        (b)     the person displayed the symbol reasonably and in good faith—

              (i)     for a genuine academic, artistic, religious or scientific purpose; or


1     a person of Hindu faith displays a swastika in the front window of the person's shop as a symbol of good luck

2     a person of Jain faith draws a swastika on the person's new vehicle before using it as a symbol of good fortune

3     a person of Buddhist faith displays a sculpture of Buddha with a swastika on the chest, as a symbol of auspiciousness, at a Buddhist temple

              (ii)     for a genuine cultural or educational purpose; or


1     the floor of a shop is patterned with swastikas in the hope of bringing prosperity

2     a member of the Hindu community wears a T-shirt in public with a swastika on the front as a symbol of peace

3     a bookshop displays for sale an educational textbook on World War II, which has a Hakenkreuz on the cover

              (iii)     in making or publishing a fair and accurate report of an event or matter of public interest; or

              (iv)     in opposition to fascism, Nazism, neo-Nazism or other related ideologies.


1     a person who displays a flag of Nazi Germany with a marking through it to signal the person's opposition to Nazism

2     a person participating in a protest who displays a Nazi symbol on a placard which also contains words stating opposition to fascism

Note     The defendant has an evidential burden in relation to the matters mentioned in s (2) (see s 58).

    (3)     A proceeding against a child for an offence against this section must not be started without the written consent of the director of public prosecutions.

    (4)     In this section:

"beading" means the cutting of the skin of a person and the insertion of an object beneath the skin to produce a lump.

"branding" means the application of heat, cold or a substance to the skin of a person to produce scar tissue.

"scarification" means the cutting of the skin of a person to create scar tissue.

"similar process" includes beading, branding and scarification.

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