Last updated 21 December 2016 This chapter is currently under review.
A criminal offence is conduct that breaches the criminal law and is described in the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (Criminal Code) of Queensland as ‘an act or omission which renders the person doing the act or making the omission liable to punishment’ (s 2 Criminal Code).
All offences against the law of Queensland are criminal offences, except those specifically designated as regulatory offences (s 3 Criminal Code). This means that even very minor offences (e.g. public urination) are classed as criminal offences.
The main Queensland criminal statute is the Criminal Code. There are, however, many other Queensland Acts that contain criminal offences.
By contrast, a civil wrong is improper conduct committed against another person or corporate entity. The improper conduct does not, however, breach the criminal law. Examples of civil wrongs include proceedings in defamation, tort or breach of contract.