Unlawful Entry On Inclosed Lands (NSW) | Armstrong Legal

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This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

Unlawful Entry On Inclosed Lands (NSW)


In NSW it is an offence to enter property without permission and without a lawful reason. A person can be charged with unlawful entry on inclosed lands based on having walked, driven or otherwise made their way onto property that is surrounded by a fence, wall, canal, building or other structure that indicates the boundary of the property. The offence is contained in section 4 of the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901.

Legislation

The provision states:

Any person who, without lawful excuse (proof of which lies on the person), enters into inclosed lands without the consent of the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands, or who remains on those lands after being requested by the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands to leave those lands, is liable to a penalty not exceeding:

What are prescribed premises?

Prescribed premises are schools, child care services, hospitals and nursing homes.

When is this offence committed?

Examples of unlawful entry onto inclosed lands include:

  • Opening a gate and driving a car through a fenced off paddock because it’s quicker to get home that way;
  • Walking through a primary school for no reason other than to look around;
  • Climbing onto the balcony of a residential property;
  • Remaining in a hospital after you’ve been directed to leave; and
  • Opening a gate which has a sign stating “NO VISITORS” and walking up to the front door of a residence to drop off a pamphlet.

What must be proven?

To convict you of unlawful entry on inclosed lands the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the accused entered land or remained on land without the consent of the owner; and
  • The land was inclosed.

Defences

A person can validly defend this charge by arguing:

  • That they did not enter the land or that they did not remain on the land after the consent of the owner was withdrawn;
  • That the land was not inclosed; or
  • That they had a lawful excuse for being on the land.

Jurisdiction

This offence is a summary offence and will be finalised in the NSW Local Court.

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