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High Court appeal outcome welcomed by HIV advocates

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) has responded to the news today that the High Court has ruled there is no evidence to suggest a man who infected his former partner with HIV did so intentionally:

"HIV advocates today welcomed the outcome of a High Court appeal related to the application of criminal law in regard to HIV transmission, which will support future advocacy for the development and implementation of prosecutorial guidelines.

In 2013 Mr Godfrey Zaburoni was found guilty of intentionally transmitting a serious disease (HIV) and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 9 years and 6 months.

In February 2016 the case was taken to the High Court of Australia and on 6 April the decision was handed down that it could not be proved that Mr Zaburoni intended to transmit HIV to his former partner.

Mr Zaburoni will now be resentenced for the lesser charge of reckless infliction of grievous bodily harm.

This case has clarified the existing law by finding that:
1.‘Foresight of risk of harm is distinct in law from the intention to produce that harm’;
2.‘Where proof of the intention to produce a particular result is made an element of liability for an offence under the Code, the prosecution is required to establish that the accused meant to produce that result by his or her conduct… knowledge or foresight of result, whether possible, probable or certain, is not a substitute in law for proof of a specific intent under the Code.’

Until today these issues had not been determined in a court at this level worldwide."

Content and image source: AFAO


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