Australian Crime Commission & ICAC proceedings
The ACC possesses very unique powers, including those that allow it to summons witnesses to a court-style hearing, commonly referred to as an “Examination”. These examinations are closed to the public. However, they may be attended by ACC staff, including certain police officers. A witness receiving a summons to attend the ACC is usually prohibited from telling anyone, except a legal practitioner, about the summons.
The “right to silence” that exists when a person is spoken to by police does not apply in a hearing before the ACC. This will often carry significant implications for people directed to attend.
It is quite common for an examination to proceed on the day the person is summonsed and there is no guarantee that an adjournment will be granted to enable a witness to obtain legal advice. For that reason, it is important that you seek legal advice before you attend day one of the examination. You may not be afforded the opportunity once you have arrived.
Lawyers SA is experienced with the workings of the ACC and with how it conducts its examinations. If you receive a summons to attend, please contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can advise you of the process.
Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC)
The Independent Commission Against Corruption of South Australia (“ICAC”) functions under legislation much like that of the Australian Crime Commission. ICAC also possesses very unique powers, including those enabling it to compel individuals to attend a hearing, answer questions or produce documentation. Sometimes information obtained during this process is referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and may result in a criminal prosecution.
Like the ACC, ICAC imposes strict obligations upon individuals which prevents them from discussing the matter with friends, work colleagues and loved ones. However witnesses are usually entitled to obtain legal advice and may be represented at an ICAC hearing. We can help you if you receive a summons or are contacted by investigators.
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