Legislation Moved to Adopt Castle Law in Queensland

1 May 2024

The right to defend yourself or others during a home or property invasion without fear of legal consequences may soon be a reality for Queenslanders after Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto introduced a Castle Law Bill into the Queensland Parliament today.

The Private Members Bill, titled the Criminal Code (Defence of Dwellings and Other Premises—Castle Law) Amendment Bill 2024, aims to bolster the legal defence available to victims of home invasions who act to defend themselves even if that act results in the serious harm, or death of an intruder.

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader said he had listened to Queenslanders who had been calling for more rights for self-defence when faced with the prospect of having to defend themselves against an intruder in their own home.

“Currently a person can only defend themselves with force that is reasonably necessary in all of the circumstances. What is deemed ‘reasonable’ is open to very broad interpretation,” Mr Dametto said.

“We strongly believe everyone should have the right to defend themselves in their own home or premises. This is why on behalf of KAP I have introduced this Castle Law Bill to test the Queensland Parliament’s support for this legislative change.

“As this bill goes through the parliamentary process, people from across the state will be able to have their say on whether or not this policy should be enshrined in Queensland law.

“The rationale of Castle Law is not about promoting unnecessary violence. Its aim is to give occupants legal protections against unintended consequences of defending themselves.”

Castle Law, or the “castle doctrine” is a legal principle that recognises a person’s right to defend their home against intruders without facing legal consequences. The roots of the Castle Doctrine can be found in the English common law as far back as 1604 in the famous Semayne’s case where the court held that – “The house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury or violence as for his repose”.

It stems from the idea that one’s home is their castle, a place where they should feel safe and secure. This doctrine strikes at the very core of an individual’s fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones within their own property.

“Queenslanders want to be assured that when protecting their home and loved ones, the law will be there to protect them. In a split-second situation where it is either fight or flight Queenslanders should be afforded solid legislative protections from legal recourse after doing what was necessary to protect against a home invader,” Mr Dametto said.

“The Bill contains some carefully considered circumstances where Castle Law should apply and these are consistent with other provisions of the criminal code.[1]

“The safety and security of Queensland residents should be a basic human right. I believe good laws should be in place to protect good people, and adopting Castle Law is an important step towards achieving this goal”.


[1] This Bill achieves its policy objectives by allowing an individual to use force that is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm against an intruder in circumstances where the intruder:

  • enters or attempts to enter the dwelling or premises in the night; or
  • uses or threatens actual violence; or
  • is or pretends to be armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon, instrument or noxious substance; or
  • is in company with 1 or more persons; or
  • damages, or threatens or attempts to damage, any property.
Nick Dametto MP