What is the Crime and Corruption Commission?
A body called the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) was created under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 QLD (the Act) to reduce the occurrence of serious crimes and to prevent corruption in the public sector. The Crime and Corruption Commission has the power to conduct investigations for the cases that involve corruption in public offices, or the Crime and Corruption Commission may be asked by a secondary body such as the Crime Reference Committee to investigate a particular matter.
The Crime and Corruption Commission may conduct secret investigations (hidden to the public) on a person. Generally, the accused is allowed to ask for legal representation. However, the Crime and Corruption Commission can also exercise covert powers that do not entitle the accused to ask for legal representation due to the secretive nature of the investigation.
The CCC may ask for:
The Crime and Corruption Act 2001 governs the aspects of compulsory hearings. The CCC may ask for compulsory hearings for matters relevant to the performance of a public office or its function. The hearings are mostly not open to the public, however, the presiding officer can determine who may be present at the hearing. A person must not act against the directions given by the presiding officer. A maximum penalty of 85 penalty units or 1-year imprisonment applies. While conducting the hearing, the presiding officer must act quickly based on the evidence, is free to inform him/herself in any appropriate way and is free to decide the procedure of the hearing. A witness at a closed hearing may seek legal representation and must not refuse to take an oath, to answer a question and to produce evidence (document or thing). Failure to comply with the hearing is considered an offence unless there is a strong reason to do so.
Notice to Produce
The CCC may ask a person to produce a document by serving a ‘Notice to Produce’. The CCC may give a ‘Notice to Produce’ under limited circumstances, that are; a criminal investigation, a specific intelligence operation or witness protection. The chairperson may issue a notice to a person to produce a document in a specified time to an appointed commission officer. The nature of the document must be ‘specific to investigation’ and should be ‘relevant to the investigation’. Failure to comply with the ‘Notice to Produce’ may lead to 85 penalty units or 1-year imprisonment. Failure to comply must be supported by relevant excuse or the ‘document or thing’ under consideration must be subject to privilege to excuse a person from complying.