Nauru

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Overview

Nauru’s relatively recent Crimes Act 2016 does not include HIV-specific laws, but it includes numerous criminal law provisions (sections 71 to 75) which define serious harm as infection with a disease.

There have been no HIV criminalisation cases on Nauru which had its first case of HIV diagnosis of a Nauru citizen in 2014.

Laws

Crimes Act 2016

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law

Section 71 Intentionally causing serious harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes serious harm to another person; and

(c) the person intends to cause serious harm to that or any other person by the conduct.

Penalty:

(i) if aggravating circumstances apply—20 years imprisonment; or

(ii) in any other case—15 years imprisonment.

Section 72 Recklessly causing serious harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes serious harm to another person; and

(c) the person is reckless about causing serious harm to that or any other person by the conduct.

Penalty:

(i) if aggravating circumstances apply—15 years imprisonment; or

(ii) in any other case—12 years imprisonment.

Section 73 Negligently causing serious harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes serious harm to another person; and

(c) the person is negligent about causing serious harm to that or any other person by the conduct.

Penalty:

(i) if aggravating circumstances apply—13 years imprisonment; or

(ii) in any other case—10 years imprisonment.

Section 74 Intentionally causing harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes harm to another person without the person’s consent; and

(c) the person intends to cause harm to that or any other person by the conduct.

Penalty:

(i) if aggravating circumstances apply—9 years imprisonment; or

(ii) in any other case—7 years imprisonment.

s75 Recklessly causing harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes harm to another person without the person’s consent; and

(c) the person is reckless about causing harm to that or any other person by the conduct.

Penalty:

(i) if aggravating circumstances apply—7 years imprisonment; or

(ii) in any other case—5 years imprisonment.

Section 80 Endangering life

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct endangers another person’s life; and

(c) the person is reckless about endangering the other person’s life.

Penalty: 10 years imprisonment.

Section 81 Risking serious harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes risk of serious harm to another person; and

(c) the person is reckless about causing the risk.

Penalty: 7 years imprisonment.

Section 83 Risking harm

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally engages in conduct; and

(b) the conduct causes risk of harm to another person; and

(c) the person is reckless about causing the risk.

Section98Statutory duty, person to avoid omissions endangering life

A person has a statutory duty to do an act if:

  • The person has agreed to do the act;
  • Not doing the act would endanger the life, safety or health of another person; and

The danger arises from the person’s possession or control of a thing, or a circumstance, under the person’s control.

Dictionary –

Endanger – conduct that endangers the life of another person includes –

  • Exposing a person to the risk of catching a disease that may give rise to a danger of death or serious harm; and
  • Conduct that is ordinarily capably of creating a real, and not merely a theoretical, danger of death or serious harm

Physical harm – includes of any of the following (whether temporary or permanent):

  • Unconsciousness
  • Pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Infection with a disease
  • Any physical contact with a person to which the person might reasonably object in the circumstances, whether or not the person was aware of it at the time

 

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to Australian law firm Hall & Wilcox for their research assistance to confirm current relevant legislation.

This information was last reviewed in April 2020