Papua New Guinea

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Specific laws

Specific law enacted Yes

Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: No

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: Yes

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 0

Convictions

Number of convictions 0

Laws

Applicable laws

Criminal Code Act 1974

HIV/AIDS Management and Protection Act 2003

Applicable key wording

Criminal Code Act 1974: (s 298) Unlawful Homicide; (s 340) Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm

HIV/AIDS Management and Protection Act 2003: Transmission or attempted transmission

Discussion

Criminal Code Act 1974(s 298) Unlawful Homicide.

A person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of the crime of wilful murder, murder, infanticide or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case.

Criminal Code Act 1974(s 340) Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm.

(1) A person who unlawfully assaults another and by doing so does him bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Penalty: Imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

HIV/AIDS Management and Protection Act 2003(s 23) Intentional Transmission.

(1) The intentional transmission or attempted transmission of HIV to another person is

  1. an assault or attempted assault, as the case may be, occasioning bodily harm within the meaning of Section 340; and
  2. where death has occurred –an act of unlawful killing within the meaning of Section 298 of the Criminal Code Act 1974.

(2) Section 297 of the Criminal Code Act 1974 shall not apply in a prosecution under Subsection (1)(b).

(3) It is a defence to a charge of an offence relating to the intentional or attempted transmission of HIV to another person that –

  1. the other person was aware of the risk of infection by HIV and voluntarily accepted that risk; or
  2. the other person was already infected with HIV; or
  3. where the transmission or attempted transmission is alleged to have occurred by sexual intercourse –

(i) a condom or other effective means of prevention of HIV transmission was used during penetration; or

(ii) the accused person was not aware of being infected with HIV.

Further reading

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

PIAF. Understanding Papua New Guinea's HIV/AIDS Management & Prevention ACT 2003:

Cases

Overview

Although there have been no reports of prosecutions, a Papua New Guinea MP was investigated in 2006 following the death of two women from HIV-related illnesses, although it appears that the charges were later dropped. See attached media report.

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017