Not only in Hong Kong, but Melbourne has also been witnessing frequent and severe knife-related assault cases! Unveiling Australia’s laws on causing injury!

In the past month, apart from the knife-related assault cases in Hong Kong, there have also been frequent incidents of serious injuries in Melbourne. What are the relevant laws and regulations in Australia regarding causing harm to others?

If the attacker has a mental illness, will they be held criminally responsible?

If the attacker has a mental illness, they may not be held criminally responsible. Their actions would be considered as a result of the mental illness, which impairs their capacity for self-control and their awareness of the nature and wrongfulness of their actions. However, simply claiming to have a mental illness does not guarantee that the defendant will be found not guilty or escape liability for the assault. To use mental illness as a defence, a series of legal procedures must be followed, including psychiatric assessments, gathering supportive evidence including expert testimony, and presenting it in court. While they may not be held criminally responsible, for the sake of public safety, the government may detain them.

Will a person be prosecuted by the police if they carry a knife in public?

In public places, the police have the authority to conduct searches or inspect packages to check for the presence of knives. If the police find a person carrying a utility knife, kitchen knife, or small folding knife without a legitimate reason, they may face fines, and the knife may be confiscated. If the person refuses to cooperate with the police search, they may also be charged with a criminal offense. Legitimate reasons can include work, sports, recreation, weapon collection, exhibition, or display, among others. However, evidence must be provided to support these legitimate reasons.

If a person is unfortunate enough to be injured or killed in a knife incident, can they or their family make a claim?

The victim compensation process and eligibility requirements may vary in different states and territories, as each has its own crime victim assistance organization. To be eligible for compensation, the following conditions must be met:
  • The person is a victim of an applicable crime that occurred in Victoria.
  • The person has suffered physical or psychological harm as a result of the crime.
*Disclaimer: The above information is intended to provide general legal knowledge and should not be considered specific advice for individual situations. The law is complex, and we strongly recommend seeking tailored legal advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal counsel. Canaan Lawyers is not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any information contained or omitted in the above content.