Aiding Suicide

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to aiding suicide.

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of aiding suicide, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

Aiding Suicide – The Law

Section 311 of the Criminal Code of Queensland creates the offence of aiding suicide.  The section provides:

Any person who—

(a) procures another to kill himself or herself; or

(b) counsels another to kill himself or herself and thereby induces the other person to do so; or

(c) aids another in killing himself or herself;

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of aiding suicide, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  • The accused procured, counselled or aided another;
  • That there was a death.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the an allegation of aiding suicide is life imprisonment.

Sentencing Range

In the 2012 decision of R v Nielsen [2012] QSC 29, Her Honour, Justice Dalton imposed a sentence of 3 years imprisonment with Parole Release after the defendant had served 6 months.  In that case the Defendant had assisted in the suicide by travelling overseas to obtain the drugs that were used in the suicide.

His Honour, Justice Davis imposed a sentence of ten years imprisonment with no recommendation for parole in the matter of R v Morant [2018] QSC 251.  In that decision the sentence proceeded on the basis that the defendant had counselled the suicide because of a motivation for financial benefit.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of aiding suicide is an indictable offence.

The charge will initially be commenced in the Magistrates Court, and will ultimately  proceed on Indictment and be finalised in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The likely sentencing outcome for this offence is one of actual imprisonment.   Once a sentence of imprisonment is imposed the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, mandates that a conviction must be recorded.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.