High Court of Australia and HIV/AIDS Disease Criminalisation: Aubrey V the Queen and Zaburoni V the Queen

(2017) 25 JLM 52- 61

10 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018

See all articles by Thomas Alured Faunce

Thomas Alured Faunce

Australian National University

Brendan Siles

ANU College of Law

Date Written: December 18, 2017

Abstract

In 2017, the High Court of Australia in Aubrey v The Queen (2017) 91 ALJR 601; [2017] HCA 18 considered the term “inflict” grievous bodily harm, under common law, and expanded its interpretation to incorporate nonviolent and non-immediate infection of a disease, overturning a 120 year authority in R v Clarence (1888) 22 QBD 23. In the previous case of Zaburoni v The Queen (2016) 256 CLR 482; [2016] HCA 12, the High Court allowed an appeal from the Qld Supreme Court finding that repeated acts of unprotected sexual intercourse by a man who knew he was infected with HIV/AIDS, though callous and reckless, did not constitute intention to infect his female partner; consequently, he could be found guilty of a lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm which carried a maximum 14-year prison sentence rather than life imprisonment. These decisions illustrate a court intersecting with an emerging trend to use legislation creating criminal offences to deter those who intentionally or recklessly infect others with life-shortening diseases.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Criminal Law, Deliberate Infection, Infectious Disease Law

JEL Classification: O33, L33, I18

Suggested Citation

Faunce, Thomas Alured and Siles, Brendan, High Court of Australia and HIV/AIDS Disease Criminalisation: Aubrey V the Queen and Zaburoni V the Queen (December 18, 2017). (2017) 25 JLM 52- 61. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3125698

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

Brendan Siles

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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