Perverting the Court of Justice


The offence of Perverting the Course of Justice is contained in section 319 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which states:

“A person who does any act, or makes any omission, intending in any way to pervert the course of justice, is liable to imprisonment for 14 years”.

Perverting the course of justice can include:

  • Drawing up a false affidavit in someone’s name
  • Giving a false account of a crime to the police;
  • Encouraging or bribing someone to plead guilty to an offence they did not commit;
  • Asking someone to provide a false alibi and/or
  • A doctor giving a false medical certificate for an adjournment to be obtained in court;

 The nature and elements of the offence of perverting the course of justice were considered in R v Manley [1933] 1 KB 529 here the appellant had falsely alleged that she had been robbed by a man whose description she gave to the police. It was the description of an imaginary man. She was convicted of unlawfully effecting a public mischief.


Maximum/Possible Penalties

Perverting the course of justice can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Participating in a criminal group charge.

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond)



Since perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • That you did any act or made any omission;
  • With intent in any way to pervert the course of justice



Some of the possible defences available for those charged with perverting the course of justice can include:

  • You did not know that there were judicial proceedings on foot or that they were imminent or might occur;
  • That you had no intent to pervert the course of justice in acting the way you did, or in omitting what you did;
  • Duress-If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • Necessity – If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of-Necessity and/or
  • Self-defence - If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of Self-Defence



For Perverting the Course of Justice, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police/DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email for more information. The first consultation is free.


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