Perjury is a very serious criminal offence in New South Wales (NSW). It involves knowingly giving false or misleading evidence under oath or affirmation in a judicial proceeding or in a document used in a judicial proceeding.
Under section 327 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), a person who commits perjury is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years. The offence is considered very serious because it undermines the integrity of the justice system and can lead to wrongful convictions or acquittals.
In order to be convicted of perjury, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused gave evidence that was knowingly false or misleading, that the evidence was given under oath or affirmation, and that it was given in a judicial proceeding or in a document used in a judicial proceeding.
Perjury can also be committed by making a false declaration or statement in any document required by law to be made under oath or affirmation, such as an affidavit or statutory declaration.
It is important to note that the offence of perjury only applies to evidence given under oath or affirmation in a judicial proceeding or in a document used in a judicial proceeding. Giving false information to police or other law enforcement agencies, or lying in a non-judicial setting, may still be a (serious) criminal offence but it would not be considered perjury.
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*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 8th May 2023.
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