Cook Islands

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Specific laws

Specific law enacted No

Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: Yes

Prosecuted using non-HIV specific laws: No

Prosecuted using both specific and non specific laws: No

Is non-disclosure actionable: No

Is exposure actionable: No

Is transmission actionable: No

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 0

Convictions

Number of convictions 0

Laws

Applicable laws

Crimes Act 1969

Public Health Act 2004

Applicable key wording

Crimes Act 1969: Infecting with disease 

Public Health Act 2004 : transmissible notifiable conditions; dangerous conditions

 

Discussion

Crimes Act 1969 (s223) Infecting with disease- A person is liable to imprisonment for a maximum possible sentence of fourteen years who wilfully and without lawful justification or excuse, causes in another person any disease or sickness.

The offence of 'Infecting with Disease' under the Crimes Act covers situations of intentional transmission. However it is possible under this section to provide specific defences of use of condom, informed partner's consent, etc.

There have been no prosecutions or convictions for the transmission of HIV occuring under this law or the Public Health Act 2004 (described below) so the application of the law to alleged HIV transmission is, at the present time, merely theoretical.

Public Health Act 2004 

Schedule 2 Section 3(1) Notifiable Conditions

The following are both transmissible notifiable conditions and dangerous conditions for the purposes of this Act:

AIDs (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus)

Section 82. Responsibilities of persons with transmissible notifiable conditions - Any person who believes or suspects that he or she is infected with a transmissible notifiable condition must -

(a) As soon as practicable seek attention, and obtain the advice referred to in paragraph (c) of section 80(2), from a medical practitioner[1]; and

(b) Immediately take all precautions to prevent transmission of the condition to others, including advising everyone who is or may be placed at risk of contracting the condition from him or her -

(i) Of the fact that the person believes or suspects himself or herself to be infected

with the condition; and

(ii) On precautions to take to avoid contracting the condition.

 

Section 83. Responsibilities of persons caring for those with transmissible notifiable conditions –

(1) This section applies to any person responsible for the care of another person that the former believes or suspects to be infected with a transmissible notifiable condition.

(2) A person to whom this section applies must, while the person believed or suspected to be infected is in his or her care, take all precautions -

(a) To avoid contracting the condition; and

(b) To prevent transmission of the condition to others.

 

Section 84. Responsibilities of persons engaging in activities at risk of transmissible notifiable conditions

- Any person engaging in an activity that the person knows or reasonably ought to know places him or her at risk of contracting a transmissible notifiable condition must, while engaged in the activity, take all precautions to avoid contracting the condition.

 

[1]Section 80. Medical practitioners to report notifiable conditions and provide advice on transmissible notifiable conditions –

(1) This section applies to any medical practitioner who, at any time after attending a person, forms an opinion that the person was infected with a notifiable condition at the time the medical practitioner attended that person.

(2) A medical practitioner to whom this section applies must as soon as practicable do the following:

(c) In the case of a transmissible notifiable condition (unless that person is no longer alive), -

(i) Advise that person on precautions to take to prevent transmission of the condition to others; and

(ii) Advise that person on precautions that others should take to avoid contracting the condition from that person; and

(iii) Advise that person of his or her obligations under paragraph (b) of section 82; and

(iv) Advise that person on the desirability of counseling (if appropriate), and if that person agrees, make arrangements for such counseling.

Further reading

Colvin E (2002). Criminal responsibility under the South Pacific codes:

http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&content=law_pubs

Cases

Overview

None

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017