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Australian Capital Territory Recording Laws

Australian Capital Territory Recording Laws

Australian Capital Territory is considered an all party consent state with a few very important caveats. The territory’s Listening Devices Act 1992 states that it is illegal to record a private conversation unless you have the consent of all parties.

You may also record the conversation if:

  • The recording of the private conversation is unintentional. This means that if you are filming birds and accidentally capture audio of two people talking on a bench you are well within your rights.
  • The recording is done by or on behalf of a party to the conversation
  • A party to the conversation contents to the recording and:
  • The recording is reasonably thought to be for the purposes of protecting that party’s lawful interests.
  • The recording is not made for the purposes of disseminating a report or contents of the conversation to a person who is not party to the conversation.     

Australian Capital Territory Publishing Laws

It is against the law for a party to a conversation or someone with unlawfully recorded private conversations to divulge or communicate a record of a private conversation unless the communication is made to another party to the conversation or is made with the consent of all parties to the private conversation.

It is also illegal to be in possession of unlawfully recorded conversations without the consent of all parties to the conversation.

Australian Capital Video Recording Laws

The territory’s laws do not directly address video recording laws, this means that the rules will fall under the much stricter audio recording laws outlined above. This means that unless you are in a public place with no expectation of privacy you will need to gain the consent of all parties in order to video record. However, you are allowed to video record in places where there is no expectation of privacy such as a public park, street, or building.

Australian Capital Territory Recording Laws Penalties

  • Unlawfully recording private conversations carries a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units.
  • A party who unlawfully divulges private communications may be punished by 50 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or both.
  • Divulging unlawfully recorded conversations carries a punishment of 50 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or both
  • Possessing unlawfully recorded conversations carries a punishment of 50 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or both.

Other Australian Laws