Human trafficking

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What is Human Trafficking ?

Australia's laws criminalising human trafficking and slavery are contained within Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code). Human trafficking is the recruitment and physical transfer of a person within or across national borders, using coercion, threat or deception, to exploit that person when they reach their destination

The Law

Division 270 of the Criminal Code criminalises slavery, the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. The slavery offences have universal jurisdiction, which means that they apply whether or not the conduct occurred in Australia, and whether or not the victim or the offender are Australian citizens or residents.

Division 270 also criminalises slavery-like practices, including servitude, forced labour, and deceptive recruiting for labour or services. These offences can apply to the exploitation of a person’s labour or services in any industry, or to exploitation within intimate relationships. Forced marriage is also considered a slavery-like practice under Division 270. A forced marriage is where one or both parties to the marriage do not fully and freely consent because of coercion, threat or deception, or because they are incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, for reasons including age or mental capacity

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Human Trafficking  offence is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove each of the elements in the charge beyond reasonable doubt.

That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Human Trafficking .

To establish Human Trafficking , the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt;

(1)  A person who, whether within or outside Australia, intentionally:

(aa)  reduces a person to slavery; or

(a)  possesses a slave or exercises over a slave any of the other powers attaching to the right of ownership; or

(b)  engages in slave trading; or

(c)  enters into any commercial transaction involving a slave; or

(d)  exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for:

(i)  any act of slave trading; or

(ii)  any commercial transaction involving a slave;

(2)  A person who:

(a)  whether within or outside Australia:

(i)  enters into any commercial transaction involving a slave; or

(ii)  exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for, any commercial transaction involving a slave; or

(iii)  exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for, any act of slave trading; and

(b)  is reckless as to whether the transaction or act involves a slave, slavery, slave trading or the reduction of a person to slavery;

If you are charged with the offence of Human Trafficking what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers have access to some of the best criminal lawyer’s and best Criminal Barristers Sydney has to offer.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Human Trafficking ;

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

Pleading Guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence and the police are able to prove all the elements of the offence, it is best to plead guilty at an early opportunity to receive the maximum discount. Currently the maximum discount available for an early plea of guilty is 25% of the sentence.

Furthermore, the early guilty plea shows the Court that you have remorse and contrition for your actions.

Our Lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers work closely with you to ensure that we obtain all necessary paper work to get you the best result.

Maximum Penalties

For Human Trafficking the maximum period of Imprisonment is for 25 years.

Please note these penalties are reserved for the worst kind of offending and are unlikely to be what you would receive.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you decide to plead not guilty you will need to prepare to go to a Defended Hearing.
A defended hearing is where all the witnesses of that case are called to give evidence. The witnesses are both examined by the prosecution and tested by your defence lawyers.
National Criminal Lawyers have defended Human Trafficking charges and are experts at these hearings.


Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Human Trafficking  can include;

  • 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”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”.

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Human Trafficking  charge.

  • Prison sentence;
  • Home Detention;
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention);
  • Suspended sentence;
  • Community service order (CSO);
  • Good behaviour bond;
  • Fine; and/or
  • Section 10.

However, from the 24 September 2018 new penalty’s will be replacing the above. They are as follows:

  • Full time Imprisonment;
  • New ICO (ICO) with a home detention condition available;
  • New Community Correction Order (CCO);
  • Fine and/or
  • New Conditional release Order (CRO)

Why National Criminal Lawyers?

There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

1. We get the results

We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose within our tailored Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced criminal lawyers who can make sure the evidence is not only obtained properly but also that your case is prepared and presented to the highest best practice standards possible. This is also done without breaking your pocket.

2. We give a Senior Defence Lawyer guarantee

No matter which option at law you choose, National Criminal Lawyers can guarantee that a Senior Defence Lawyer will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible.

3. National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights

At National Criminal Lawyers we know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. For this reason, we take pride and passion in representing our clients. This pride and passion to assist those charged with an alleged or actual breach of the criminal law is to us a matter of righteous necessity and in that sense, you can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights. This true not only when the police have just simply got it wrong OR if they have got it right then we can speak with you and make sure you get you the best result available.

If you have been charged with any Human Trafficking offence our Team at National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.

Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.

Book your first free appointment with National Criminal lawyers now.
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