Criminal Code Act 1995
Section 3CHAPTER 8 - OFFENCES AGAINST HUMANITY AND RELATED OFFENCES Division 270 - Slavery and slavery-like offences
A marriage is a forced marriage if one party to the marriage (the victim ) entered into the marriage without freely and fully consenting:
(a) because of the use of coercion, threat or deception; or
(b) because the party was incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony.
For the purposes of subsection (1), marriage includes the following:
(a) a registered relationship within the meaning of section 2E of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 ;
(b) a marriage recognised under a law of a foreign country;
(c) a relationship registered (however that process is described) under a law of a foreign country, if the relationship is of the same, or a similar, type as any registered relationship within the meaning of section 2E of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 ;
(d) a marriage (including a relationship or marriage mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is void, invalid, or not recognised by law, for any reason, including the following:
(i) a party to the marriage has not freely or fully consented to the marriage (for example, because of natural, induced or age related incapacity);
(ii) a party to the marriage is married (within the meaning of this subsection) to more than one person.
Section 2E of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 covers relationships registered under a law of a State or Territory that are prescribed by regulations under that Act.(3)
Paragraph (1)(a) applies whether the coercion, threat or deception is used against the victim or another person.
For the purposes of proving an offence against this Division or Division 271 , a person under 16 years of age is presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to be incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony.
A defendant bears a legal burden in relation to proving the contrary (see section 13.4 ).