New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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LOCAL COURT ACT 2007 - SECT 24A
Disrespectful behaviour in Court
(1) Offence A person is guilty of an offence against this section if:
person is an accused person or defendant in, or a party to, proceedings before
the Court or has been called to give evidence in proceedings before the Court,
(b) the person intentionally engages in behaviour in the Court during the
(c) that behaviour is disrespectful to the Court or the
Magistrate presiding over the proceedings (according to established court
practice and convention).
Maximum penalty: 14 days imprisonment or 10 penalty
units, or both.
(2) In this section,
"behaviour" includes any act or failure to act.
(3) This section does not
apply to the following persons:
(a) an Australian legal practitioner appearing
in that capacity,
(b) a police prosecutor or other public official
responsible for the conduct of the prosecution, but only when acting in that
(4) Proceedings for offences Proceedings against a person for an
offence against this section are to be dealt with summarily before:
(a) if the
person is a child--the Children's Court, or
(b) if the person is not a
child--the Local Court.
(5) Proceedings for an offence against this section
may be brought at any time within 12 months after the date of the alleged
(6) Proceedings for an offence against this section may be brought
only by a person or a member of a class of persons authorised, in writing, by
the Secretary of the Department of Justice for that purpose.
(7) A Magistrate
may refer any disrespectful behaviour in proceedings over which the Magistrate
is presiding to the Attorney General.
(8) Proceedings for an offence against
this section may be commenced only with the authorisation of the Attorney
General. Authorisation may be given by the Attorney General whether or not the
disrespectful behaviour is referred to the Attorney General by a Magistrate
under this section.
(9) Evidence An official transcript or official audio or
video recording of the proceedings in the Court is admissible in evidence in
proceedings for an offence against this section and is evidence of the matter
included in the transcript or audio or video recording.
(10) The Magistrate
presiding over the proceedings in which the alleged disrespectful behaviour
occurred cannot be required to give evidence in proceedings before any court
for an offence against this section.
(11) Contempt and double jeopardy This
section does not affect any power with respect to contempt or the exercise of
any such power.
(12) A person cannot be prosecuted for an offence against
this section and proceeded against for contempt in respect of essentially the
same behaviour. However, nothing in this section prevents proceedings for
contempt in respect of behaviour that constitutes an offence against this
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