Conspiracy to murder

In NSW it is an offence to plan to murder someone or participate in the planning of the murder of someone.

You can be charged with this offence if you arrange for someone to murder a person, if you encourage or persuade someone to murder a person or if you participate in the planning of the murder of a person.

The maximum penalty for manslaughter is imprisonment for 25 years.

The Offence of Conspiracy to Murder:

The offence of conspiracy to murder is largely contained in common law principles. The offence is however addressed in section 26 of the Crimes Act. The section states:


conspires and agrees to murder any person, whether a subject of Her Majesty or not, and whether within the Queen’s dominions or not, or solicits, encourages, persuades, or endeavours to persuade, or proposes to, any person to commit any such murder, shall be liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

What Actions Might Constitute Conspiracy to Murder?

Examples of conspiracy to murder include:

  • Hiring a hitman to kill your parents;
  • Telling your lover to poison his wife so you can be together;
  • Begging your brother to convince his friend to kill your drug dealer who you owe a lot of money; or
  • Agreeing to purchase a gun so that your friend can kill his girlfriend’s new lover.

What the Police Must Prove:

To convict you of conspiracy to murder the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you and at least one other person conspired or agreed to commit murder; or
  • That you solicited, encouraged, proposed to, persuaded or endeavoured to persuade at least one other person to commit murder.

Possible Defences for Conspiracy to Murder:

The common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you did not conspire or agree with another person;
  • To argue that what you conspired or agreed to do was not to commit murder;
  • To argue that you did not solicit, encourage, propose, persuade or endeavour to persuade someone;
  • To argue that what you solicited, encouraged, proposed to do, persuaded or endeavoured to persuade someone to do was not to commit murder; or
  • To raise self defence, necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

The offence is a strictly indictable offence and must be finalised in the Supreme Court.




If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223