‘Colour of right’ is a term we used to us in our criminal law in relation to charges of theft, dishonesty and fraud. We now use the term . . "Claim of Right".
Claim of right, in relation to any criminal act, means a belief that the act is lawful, although that belief may be based on ignorance or mistake of fact or of any matter of law other than the actual Crimes Act or the Act under which you are charged.
Ignorance of the law is never an excuse but a genuine mistake as to a set of facts can be an excuse.
A genuine mistake as to the true facts of a situation may provide you with a valid defence to a criminal charge.
If a person is acting under a genuine mistaken view relating to a set of facts which would give him a defence to a criminal charge if those facts were correct, then he is said to be acting with “Claim of right”.
There is a specific definition of the term “claim of right” in our Crimes Act1961 and that definition says :The first part of this topic has been displayed free of charge. Join up for $45 to have access to this and all other topics!