Laws that impose strict or absolute liability

10.34  There are a range of Commonwealth laws that could be said to impose strict or absolute liability. This chapter examines laws that arise in the following areas:

  • corporate and prudential regulation;

  • environmental protection;

  • work health and safety laws;

  • customs and border protection legislation;

  • national security legislation; and

  • copyright legislation.

10.35  The imposition of absolute liability is relatively rare, and is largely confined to technical or jurisdictional elements.[45] Some notable exceptions arise in relation to customs and border protection and national security.

Corporate and prudential regulation

10.36  Strict liability offences are a common feature of regulatory frameworks underpinning corporate and prudential regulation, and may be appropriate to ensure the integrity of a financial or corporate regulatory regime.[46]

10.37  Strict liability is imposed on elements of a variety of corporate offences, including: the composition of corporate entities and licensing;[47] the provision of information, both to the general public and the regulator;[48] compliance with regulator and court/tribunal directions;[49] directors’ duties and remuneration;[50] corporate governance, including audit requirements;[51] and the holding of monies on behalf of others.[52]

10.38  Strict liability offences relating to prudential regulation are primarily found in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth), Insurance Act 1973 (Cth), and Life Insurance Act 1995 (Cth).[53] Strict liability in prudential regulation aims to ensure the fidelity of the regulatory framework. As a regulatory agency, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) relies strongly on the deterrence effect of regulatory mechanisms, and incentives to enter into administrative arrangements to prevent contravening conduct. Where prosecutions prove difficult, or provisions are virtually unenforceable, the overall efficacy of the regulatory regime is jeopardised. APRA has contended that, where it becomes known that the regulatory regime is difficult to enforce, it could encourage disreputable practices in the industry, putting the pool of superannuation savings in Australia at risk.[54]

10.39  Based on this reasoning, non-compliance provisions relating to APRA directions,[55] superannuation payments and related commissions and brokerages,[56] false, misleading or defective statements and representations are designated strict liability offences. Additionally, as APRA relies on information from industry participants in fulfilling its regulatory responsibilities, failures to provide APRA with information, documents or assistance are also designated strict liability offences.

10.40  Two examples of corporate and prudential regulation were highlighted in submissions to this Inquiry. The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) submitted that s 588G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) is the ‘most notable example’ of a suite of provisionsimposing strict or absolute liability for a breach of directors’ duties at state, territory and Commonwealth level.

10.41  Section 588G of the Corporations Act states:

(3)     A person commits an offence if:

      (a)     a company incurs a debt at a particular time; and

      (aa)   at the time, a person is a director of the company; and

      (b)    the company is insolvent at that time, or becomes insolvent by incurring that debt, or incurring at that time debts including that debt; and

      (c)     the person suspected at the time when the company incurred the debt that the company was insolvent or would become insolvent as a result of incurring that debt or other debts (as in paragraph (1)(b)); and

      (d)    the person’s failure to prevent the company incurring the debt was dishonest.

(3A) For the purposes of an offence based on subsection (3), absolute liability applies to paragraph 3(a).

(3B) For the purposes of an offence based on subsection (3), strict liability applies to paragraphs (3)(aa) and (b).

10.42  The AICD submitted that imposing criminal liability for the acts of the company on any basis other than because the director ‘knowingly authorised or recklessly permitted a contravention fosters an approach to business which is overly risk averse and which stifles economic growth and innovation’.[57] In determining whether a company is likely to be insolvent, a director is likely to be required to make complex commercial decisions without full information, and with limited time.[58]

10.43  The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) suggested that the imposition of strict liability in s 588G reflects a drafting error. According to ASIC, the requirement for a reasonable suspicion set out in s 588G(3)(c) should be the fault element that applies to s 588G(3)(b). It submitted that s 588G should be amended to delete s 588G (3B).[59]

10.44  While the Scrutiny of Bills Committee has accepted the general approach to the imposition of strict liability in prudential regulation,[60] the Committee drew attention to amendments inserted by the General Insurance Reform Act 2001 (Cth). This inserted the following strict liability offences:

  • breaching a condition of an APRA determination that certain requirements do not apply (authorisation to carry on an insurance business, audit and actuarial investigations, compliance with prudential standards, keeping of accounting records, requirements relating to presence and service in Australia)—s 7A;

  • carrying on an insurance business in Australia, unless otherwise authorised—ss 9, 10;

  • breaching an authorisation condition—s 14;

  • breaching an authorisation condition given to a non-operating holding company—s 20.

10.45  While the Scrutiny of Bills Committee accepted that strict liability sought to ‘ensure the effectiveness of using the prospect of prosecutions as a deterrent to imprudent behaviour or an incentive to negotiate a rectification plan’, it noted that the provisions were modelled on ss 7 and 8 of the Banking Act 1959 (Cth), which are fault-based provisions. While the Committee left the question for the Senate as a whole to consider, by the time the Scrutiny of Bills Committee had published its report, the Bill had already been passed, and there was no whole of Senate consideration of the issue.[61]

Environmental protection

10.46  Strict liability is a key feature of a variety of environmental regulatory frameworks, including in relation to protection of the environment and biodiversity, standards and measures targeted at improving water efficiency, prohibitions on the manufacture and use of ozone depleting substances, fisheries and marine reserves, and areas of particular significance, such as the Great Barrier Reef.

10.47  The ALRC received one submission on such provisions. The Environmental and Planning Law Committee submitted that such offences were justified:

On  balance,  removing  strict  liability  for  offences  under  Commonwealth  environmental legislation would, in the EPLC’s view, significantly reduce the efficacy of the EPBC Act and  other  Commonwealth  environmental  legislation  in  deterring  environmental  crime.[62]

10.48  However, it is desirable to scrutinise each strict or absolute liability offence individually, to determine whether it is a proportionate response to the underlying needs sought to be addressed.

10.49  The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) is the central plank of environmental regulation at the Commonwealth level.[63] It contains a number of strict liability offences. The effect of the majority of these provisions is that the prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant knew that a species is a protected species, or that the conduct occurred in a protected place.[64] In justifying a number of these provisions to the Scrutiny of Bills Committee in 2006, the Minister stated:

The relevant offence provisions of the EPBC Act form part of a fundamental environmental regulatory regime that is aimed at protecting matters of national environmental significance. The application of strict liability to elements of these offences is considered appropriate for ensuring the maintenance of the integrity of the regulatory regime of the EPBC Act.[65]

10.50  Additionally, the Minister noted that strict liability is appropriate

where it has proved difficult to prosecute fault provisions … The experience of the [Department], as confirmed by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, is that the requirement to prove a mental element (for example that a person knew or was reckless as to the fact that a species is a listed threatened species) is a substantial impediment to proving these offences.[66]

10.51  Strict liability has also been justified on the grounds that it overcomes a knowledge of law problem.[67]

10.52  By contrast, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee did not accept such justifications for similar provisions in the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (Cth) (Fisheries Management Act). For example, s 100B of the Fisheries Management states:

(1)     A person commits an offence if:

         (a)     the person intentionally uses a boat; and

         (b)    the boat is a foreign boat and the person is reckless as to that fact; and

         (c)     the use of the boat is for commercial fishing and the person is reckless as to that fact; and

         (d)    the boat is at a place that is, at the time of the use, in a part of the territorial sea of Australia that is in the [Australian Fishing Zone].

(1A)  Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(d).[68]

10.53  In its 2007 consideration of the insertion of ss 100B and 101AA of the Fisheries Management Act, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee expressed an initial view that these provisions did not appear to comply with the principles set out in the Strict and Absolute Liability Report.[69]

10.54  The Strict and Absolute Liability Report states that where strict liability is imposed because proving fault is undermining the deterrent effect of the offence, there must be ‘legitimate grounds for penalising persons lacking “fault” in respect of that element’.[70] The Scrutiny of Bills Committee was concerned

about the fairness of applying strict liability to the element of the location of a foreign fishing boat in the territorial sea of Australia when ‘the territorial sea is not generally depicted on Australian charts or charts issued under other jurisdictions’, thus making it virtually impossible for a foreign fishing boat to know whether or not it has entered the territorial sea.[71]

10.55  A number of provisions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth) are potentially analogous to this. These provisions impose strict liability in relation to whether certain conduct was engaged in within specified zones in theGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park.[72] However, this issue was not raised in submissions to this Inquiry.

Work health and safety

10.56  The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (WHS Act) imposes strict liability on ‘each physical element of each offence under [the WHS Act] unless otherwise stated’.[73]

10.57  The National Farmers Federation submitted that reg 49 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)‘appears impossible to comply with’,because it imposes strict liability for accidental exposure despite the presence of safe systems of work.[74]

10.58  Regulation 49 requires that ‘a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure that no person at the workplace is exposed to a substance or mixture in an airborne concentration that exceeds the exposure standard for the substance or mixture’. Section 12F of the WHS Act imposes strict liability on all physical elements of offences under the Act (and by extension, regulations under the Act). However, s 17 of the WHS Act defines a duty to ensure health and safety imposed under the Act or regulations as requiring that risks are eliminated as far as is reasonably practicable. Where it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, it should be minimised as far as reasonably practicable. Following this definition, it appears that so long as the safe systems of work eliminate or minimise the risk of exposure, a person carrying on a business or undertaking would not be committing an offence.

Customs and border protection

Strict liability offences

10.59  The customs and border protection regulatory framework is based on risk assessments. These risk assessments rely on information provided to Customs officials.[75] Inaccurate, false or misleading information can result in inaccurate risk assessments, and may result in the entry of prohibited imports (for example, narcotics or weapons) into the community.[76] As a result, the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) (Customs Act) includes a number of strict liability offences relating to the failure to keep records or provide information, and the provision of false or misleading information.[77]

10.60  The Law Council of Australia (Law Council) submitted that

the failure to report the entry of cargo on time or in an untimely or incorrect fashion (s 64AB(10) of the Customs Act) may be an unjustified use of strict liability where the provision of that information has been made in an untimely or incorrect fashion by a contracting party overseas. In that case the imposition of a penalty may be unfair on the Australian party who becomes liable for the offence.[78]

10.61  The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee) stated that the imposition of strict and absolute liability was justified in such circumstances.[79] The strict liability regime was introduced to ‘preserve appropriate border control’[80] and reflects the view that isolated non-compliance, when viewed in its entirety, ‘can have significant consequences for the community as a whole’.[81] Incorrect information ‘renders ineffective’ Customs’ capacity to regulate using risk management techniques.[82]

10.62  However, bodies such as the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF) and Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc (CBFCA) raised concerns before the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry about the application of strict liability, particularly in relation to false or misleading statements and late reporting.

10.63  AFIF noted that, in some cases, data received from exporters is is simply forwarded directly to Customs, and shipping companies are reliant on overseas exporters for the accuracy and timeliness of the reporting.[83] CBFCA noted that late reporting is caused by user error, inadequate systems or operating hours and lack of data from overseas sources. It submitted that the first of these could be remedied with training, and contended that it ‘is unreasonable that infringement notices and penalties should apply for late reports caused by the overseas source not supplying data in the time stipulated by the Australian regulatory authorities’.[84] In relation to false or misleading statements, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee noted that a person is not liable if they make a statement that the person is uncertain about the information provided.[85]

10.64  By contrast, in 2002, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee expressed the view that the imposition of strict liability for a failure to provide information in the customs context may trespass on personal rights and liberties. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee said that these provisions did not comply with the principles relating to ‘the protection of people affected by strict liability provisions and for the administration of such provisions’.[86] For example:

Strict liability should depend as far as possible on the actions or lack of action of those who are actually liable for an offence, rather than be imposed on parties who must by necessity rely on information from third parties in Australia or overseas; offences which do not apply this principle have the potential to operate unfairly.[87]

Absolute liability offences

10.65  In the customs and border protection context, some provisions impose absolute liability on elements other than technical or jurisdictional elements. Examples include ss 233BABAB and 233BABAC of the Customs Act, which impose absolute liability in relation to whether importation of a particular good was prohibited under the Customs Act. In response to concerns raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee about the application of absolute liability for offences that are more traditionally subject to strict liability, the Minister stated that this departure from general policy is justified to ‘ensure consistency across similar offences’.[88]

National security

Strict liability offences

10.66  A number of submissions to this Inquiry have identified strict liability offences relating to counter-terrorism and national security as examples of unjustified impositions of strict or absolute liability.[89]

Associating with a terrorist organisation

10.67  The Law Council and the joint submission by the Councils for Civil Liberties raised concerns about ss 102.5(2) and 102.8 of the Criminal Code, which impose strict liability for training with or associating with a terrorist organisation.[90] These provisions are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 6, dealing with freedom of association. The Law Council of Australia and the UNSW Law Society criticised the provisions for expanding the reach of criminal liability to conduct which does not indicate culpability.

10.68  The Attorney-General’s Department argued that the fault elements

need to be clarified, first by applying strict liability to the question of whether the organisation is a proscribed or listed organisation and secondly by introducing a new offence that the person was reckless as to the nature of the organisation.[91]

10.69  The Security Legislation Review Committee, chaired by Simon Sheller QC, considered this submission, and stated in its report (Sheller Report) that, it ‘does not regard it as according with justice and proportionate to apply strict liability to offences under either ss 102.5 or 102.8’.[92] Further, it concluded that offences that carry custodial penalties of 25 years (s 102.5) and three years (s 102.8) should not be subject to strict liability.[93]

10.70  The Sheller Report also concluded that:

Even if strict liability applies only to make it unnecessary for the prosecution to prove that the organisation is a terrorist organisation as a result of proscription, the defendant is denied by the process of proscription any opportunity to resist the factual conclusion that it is a terrorist organisation, at any time, either by resisting the process of proscription, which results in the executive act of proscription, or at the trial for the offence.[94]

10.71  The Council of Australian Governments, in its 2013 review of counter-terrorism legislation, adopted the Sheller Report’s comments relating to s 102.5,[95] and recommended the repeal of s 102.8.[96]

Financial transactions

10.72  The Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth) includes provisions which prohibit dealings with assets owned or controlled by proscribed persons or entities, and giving assets to proscribed persons or entities.[97] Under ss 20 and 21 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth),[98]strict liability applies such that a person does not need to know that any use of, dealing with, or making available of an asset is not in accordance with a notice under the Act. The Attorney-General, in response to the Scrutiny of Bills Committee’s initial concerns about these provisions, stated that the imposition of strict liability

is necessary to ensure that the offences can be effectively prosecuted … if the prosecution was required to prove not only that the defendant was aware that the asset was a freezable asset but also that he or she was aware that a particular dealing with the asset was not in accordance with a notice under section 22, defendants would be able to avoid liability by demonstrating that they did not turn their minds to the question of whether there was a notice permitting the dealing … A person who acts in the mistaken but reasonable belief that a dealing is in accordance with a notice would be able to rely on the defence of mistake of fact under section 9.2 of the Criminal Code.[99]

10.73  Notwithstanding the Attorney-General’s response, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee was concerned these provisions may trespass upon personal rights and liberties, and left the question for resolution by the Senate as a whole.

Disclosure of information

10.74  Section 34ZS of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (Cth)imposes strict liability in relation to the disclosure of operational information concerning a warrant issued under s 34D by the subject of the warrant or a legal representative. Chapter 4 discusses this provision in greater detail, including the ALRC’s recommendations in a previous Inquiry in relation to such secrecy provisions.

Declared area offences

10.75  Several stakeholders raised concerns about s 119.2 of the Criminal Code, as inserted by the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 (Cth).[100]

10.76  Section 119.2 criminalises the entry or presence in an area in a foreign country, which is a declared area, unless it is for the purpose of a limited list of approved purposes.

10.77  Under s 119.2, and applying the default fault elements set out in s 5.6 of the Criminal Code,the prosecution is required to prove the following fault elements:

  • the person intentionally enters, or remains in, an area in a foreign country, knowing that it is an area in a foreign country; and

  • the person is reckless as to whether the area is an area declared by the Foreign Affairs Minister under s 119.3.

10.78  A number of stakeholders and parliamentary committees raised concerns about this provision. While these criticisms do not relate to the imposition of strict liability, it highlights that s 119.2 of the Criminal Code potentially imposes criminal liability in the absence of culpable conduct.

10.79  The Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law submitted that, while not expressed as an offence of strict liability, s 119.2 operates such that, in effect, it is an offence of strict liability. Criminal liability is established, prima facie, when a person enters or remains in a declared area. The Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law noted that ‘the prosecution need not establish, for example, that the person travelled to the area for the purpose of engaging in terrorism’.[101] It contended that the provision is problematic because it is the malicious purpose of engaging in terrorism, rather than the mere fact of travel, ‘which should render the conduct an appropriate subject for criminalisation’.[102] Australian Lawyers for Human Rights echoed the concerns raised by the Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law.[103]

10.80  The Scrutiny of Bills Committee raised concerns about the breadth of this provision, noting that ‘it appears that the offence is made out simply for being in a declared area’.[104] Following consideration of the legitimate purposes set out in s 119.2(3) of the Criminal Code, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee stated:

The potential difficulty with this provision, however, is that the legitimate purposes are listed and it is not clear that the listed purposes cover the field of purposes which would demonstrate that there was no intent to support terrorist groups or engage in terrorist activities overseas.[105]

10.81  The Attorney-General, in his response to the committee, noted the following passage from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security:

The areas targeted by the ‘declared area’ provisions are extremely dangerous locations in which terrorist organisations are actively engaging in hostile activities. The Committee notes the declared area provisions are designed to act as a deterrent to prevent people from travelling to declared areas. The Committee considers it is a legitimate policy intent for the Government to do this and to require persons who choose to travel to such places despite the warnings to provide evidence of a legitimate purpose for their travel. This is particularly the case given the risk individuals returning to Australia who have fought for or been involved with terrorist organisations present to the community.[106]

10.82  The Human Rights Committee also noted that a person could commit the offence without intending to engage in or support terrorist activity.[107]

10.83  The UNSW Law Society conducted a proportionality analysis of the provision, and noted that a provision which includes an intent to engage in hostile or terrorist activity as an element of the offence would be a less rights-encroaching alternative.[108]

Other laws


10.84  The Australian Digital Alliance identified a number of strict liability offences in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Copyright Act), and submitted that ‘to date there has been no evidence that these provisions have led to a reduction in commercial scale copyright infringement … [and] by removing the mens rea element from the offences, strict liability provisions could easily see people innocently committing an offence’.[109] The Australian Digital Alliance also raised concerns about the broad discretion given to prosecutors and police arising from a strict liability regime coupled with an infringement notice scheme.[110]

10.85  In its consideration of the provisions of the Copyright Amendment Act 2006, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee noted that a number of submissions found the imposition of strict liability for copyright infringement ‘unprecedented and troubling, to the extent that [the provisions imposing such liability] should not be passed in [their] current form’.[111]

10.86  Associate Professor Kimberlee Weatherall stated:

The key to understanding the regulatory potential of [the strict liability] provisions lies in appreciating their breadth. Historically, there is no quantitative threshold for criminal liability for copyright infringement: almost all offences under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) apply to the making of, or dealing with, a single infringing article, provided it is made for the purposes of trade or commercial advantage. As a result, behaviour extending all the way from the obviously ‘pirate’ through to quite commonplace commercial acts falls within the scope of the criminal offences … The provisions confer considerable discretion on the executive branch, in the form of enforcement agencies and prosecution agencies, without parliamentary oversight.[112]

10.87  Other jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States have not imposed strict liability for copyright infringements.[113] Similar offences do not exist in the regulatory framework for patents and trademarks.[114]

10.88  A number of submissions to the inquiry by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee stated that strict liability for copyright infringement ‘should be rejected as a matter of principle’.[115] Additionally, concerns were raised that the provisions were overly broad, and most problematically, could be applied to non-commercial acts, acts undertaken by the public in general, and conduct undertaken in the course of ordinary, legitimate business.[116]

10.89  The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee agreed that ‘there is merit in attempting to limit the scope of these provisions to the actual activities that the committee understands they are intended to target’.[117] It was of the view that ‘strict liability provisions could be narrowed in a way that would significantly reduce the risk of their application to ordinary Australians and legitimate businesses’,[118] and recommended that

the Federal Government re-examine with a view to amending the strict liability provisions in Schedule 1 of the Bill to reduce the possible widespread impact of their application on the activities of ordinary Australians and legitimate businesses.[119]

10.90  Following this recommendation, the Government removed 11 proposed strict liability offences and amended one to ‘address the perception of possible overreach’.[120]

10.91  However, the Australian Digital Alliance, in its submission to this ALRC Inquiry, noted that the remaining strict liability offences could still ‘easily see people innocently committing an offence’.[121] It cited s 132AO(5) of the Copyright Act as an example. The relevant provision states:

(5)     A person commits an offence if:

         (a)     the person causes:

                  (ii)        images from a cinematograph film to be seen; or

                  (iii)      sound from a cinematograph film to be heard; and

         (b)    the hearing or seeing occurs in public at a place of public entertainment; and

         (c)     causing the hearing or seeing infringes copyright in the recording or film.

10.92  The Australian Digital Alliance submitted that

the absence of any mens rea or necessity to have caused financial harm means that any person who plays a short burst of footage from their phone or laptop in a public place faces potential criminal liability.[122]

10.93  The phrase ‘in public’ is not defined in the Copyright Act. A place of public entertainment is also not exhaustively defined.[123] Divisions 3 and 4 of pt III outline relevant acts which do not constitute infringements of copyright.

10.94  In Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd v Commonwealth Bank, Gummow J held that, in determining whether the relevant conduct is in public, the question is whether:

in coming together to form the audience … were the persons concerned bound together by a domestic or private tie or by an aspect of their public life?[124]

10.95  Based on the reasoning in Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd v Commonwealth Bank,[125] it appears that the scenario described by the Australian Digital Alliance may breach s 132AO of the Copyright Act.

10.96  Such issues might be considered by the Productivity Commission as part of its current inquiry into intellectual property arrangements.[126]

Family law

10.97  The Law Council stated that a number of provisions in the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth) and Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth)may unjustifiably impose strict liability.[127] These provisions relate to providing the Registrar with information about payments, changes in circumstances, or other information sought by written notice.

10.98  It submitted that

[p]roceedings under the family law legislation govern the property of litigants and their family relationships. The imposition of penalties in that context is serious. Further, an offence in a family law context usually will occur whilst other litigation is pending and can impact upon it.[128]

10.99  The specific instances of strict liability identified by the Law Council reflect a broader trend in statutes across the body of Commonwealth laws to impose strict liability in relation to the provision of information to regulatory or governing bodies. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee has accepted difficulties in proving intent as a possible rationale for imposing strict liability.[129] For example, in considering the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1)2000 (Cth), the relevant Minister argued

it would be difficult to successfully prosecute alleged breaches of regulatory offences which involve an act of omission [such as a failure to advise of a significant event] … as evidence of mental elements such as intention or recklessness is almost impossible to obtain in the absence of admissions or independent evidence … the [Director of Public Prosecutions] has advised that for regulatory offences relating to the lodgement of documents or the provision of documentary information, it would be more appropriate if the legislation imposed a strict liability.[130]