Public Urination

It is illegal to urinate in a public place.

If you do, you could be fined up to $1600.

Are any defences available?

It is an excuse to urinating in public if it is for a ‘sudden or extraordinary emergency’. This means if you urinate in public in response to circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency you won’t be liable for the offence. A sudden or extraordinary emergency includes circumstances where you believe that committing the offence is the only reasonable way to deal with the emergency, and it turns out that it was a reasonable response.

This argument will not work if it simply was not convenient or easy for you to find a public toilet at the time.


The material in this fact sheet is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this publication without first getting legal advice about their particular situations.
If you would like more information, please contact Street Law on (02) 6218 7900 or Street Law is a program of Canberra Community Law Ltd.
© Canberra Community Law Ltd. Not to be reproduced without permission or acknowledgement.
Last updated: 14 May 2021

Skip to content