This article is for general information only and should not be relied on for specific legal advice.  The author will not be held responsible for any action that a person takes as a result of interpretation of the contents of this article.  It is important to seek specific advice from a qualified and experienced lawyer for any legal problem. 

Bribery is the act of dishonestly persuading someone (person or company) to act in one’s favour or provide an improper advantage by offering a gift of benefit or other improper inducement. Bribery of a Member of Parliament includes offering such a bribe (gift of benefit or improper inducement) to a government official. This can include offering money, service, property, access to goods or services etc to government officials in order to gain an unfair advantage from them.   

The Law Surrounding Bribery of Member of Parliament

Section 60 of the Criminal Code (Qld) 1899 states; 

(1) Any person who— 

(a) in order to influence a member of the Legislative Assembly in the member’s vote, opinion, judgement, or action, upon any question or matter arising in the Legislative Assembly or in any committee thereof or in order to induce the member to absent himself or herself from the Assembly or from any such committee, gives, confers, or procures, or promises or offers to give or confer, or to procure or attempt to procure, any property or benefit of any kind to, upon, or for, such member, or to, upon, or for, any other person; or 

(b) attempts, directly or indirectly, by fraud, or by threats or intimidation of any kind, to influence a member of the Legislative Assembly in the member’s vote, opinion, judgement, or action, upon any such question or matter, or to induce the member to so absent himself or herself; 

is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

Elements of the Offence

It is the duty of the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant has committed the offence.  Every charge has a number of elements that the Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  For the charge of Bribery of a Member of Parliament the Prosecution must prove; 

  1. Defendant – The Prosecutor has to prove the identification of the offender; 
  2. Intended; or  
  3. Attempted to Influence or Induce; or 
  4. Threatened or Intimidated; 
  5. A Member of the Legislative Assembly; 
  6. In the Members Vote, Opinion, Judgement or Action.

Maximum Penalty for Bribery of Member of Parliament:

The maximum penalty for this offence is seven years imprisonment. 


In Queensland, if a person is convicted of Bribery of a Member of Parliament, then the court could impose one of the following penalties: 

  • Jail (suspended, parole or actual time); 
  • Intensive Corrections Order; 
  • Probation; 
  • Community Service Order; 
  • Fines. 

The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant. 

Possible Defences For Bribery of Member of Parliament

There are a number of defences available to charge at law. Not every defence is available to every charge. You will need to seek specific legal advice to see if you have a defence available to you for this charge. 

Some of the common defences available in criminal charges are:

  • Necessity; 
  • Mistake of Fact; 
  • Public Safety; 
  • Self Defence or defence of another person; 
  • Intoxication; 
  • Provocation; 
  • Accident; 
  • Duress; 
  • Compulsion; 
  • Insanity; 
  • Automatism

Which Court will your matter be heard in?

The charge of Bribery of Member of Parliament needs to be heard in the higher court and cannot be dealt with by a Magistrate. In that event, a committal hearing will have to be conducted and then the matter will proceed to the District Court.  If you enter a plea of guilty then the charge will be determined by a Judge.  If you enter a plea of Not Guilty then the trial will be before a Judge and Jury.  If you are found guilty then you will be sentenced by the Judge.

What should I do if the police want to speak to me about a Bribery of Member of Parliament allegation or if I am charged with Bribery of Member of Parliament?

You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.

Call an Expert

If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over-the-phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court. Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.