Criminal Justice (Smuggling of Persons) Act 2021

Offences under Part 2: further provisions

9. (1) It shall be a defence in any proceedings against a person for an offence under section 6 , 7 or 8 for the person charged with the offence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the conduct alleged to constitute the offence was engaged in by him or her—

(a) in order to provide, in the course of his or her work on behalf of a bona fide organisation, assistance to a person seeking international protection in the State or equivalent status in another state if the purposes of that organisation include giving assistance without charge to persons seeking such protection or status, or

(b) for the purpose of providing humanitarian assistance, otherwise than for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, a financial or material benefit.

(2) Notwithstanding section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1997 , it shall not be an offence for a person to aid, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit an offence under section 6 , 7 or 8 relating to the entry into, transit across or presence in the State, or a designated State, of the first-mentioned person.