Murder and manslaughter are among the most serious criminal offences and attract some of the harshest penalties courts can impose. Murder is generally considered be the most serious criminal offence. Section 18 of the Crimes Act defines murder as causing another person’s death:
- With reckless indifference to human life; or
- With the intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm.
A person can be charged with murder if they did, or failed to do something that resulted in the death of another person:
- Where they also intended to kill or seriously injure the person, or
- Where they have foreseen that it is probable that death will result.
An adult who is found guilty of murder, the maximum penalty for murder is imprisonment for life.
A juvenile who is found guilty of murder is liable to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life or detention until released by order of the governor.