The Commission may hold an examination for the purposes of an investigation under the CCM Act. It is just one means by which the Commission conducts an investigation.
The Commission can conduct examinations to gather relevant evidence as part of an investigation into serious misconduct. An examination is not a trial and cannot determine the guilt or innocence of anyone against whom an allegation has been made.
As part of its investigations, the Commission may summons people to appear as witnesses to give evidence at either private or public examinations. Frequently, witnesses are not suspected of any wrongdoing and are there for no other reason than to assist the Commission’s inquiries.
Examinations differ from proceedings in courts or tribunals, and the role of Counsel is different
The examination is designed to discover facts that may lead to further action being taken. No person appearing at a Commission examination has a 'case' to pursue.
The essential and immediate purpose of an investigation is to inform the Commission on matters of serious misconduct to enable the Commission to make assessments, form opinions, make recommendations and to communicate the results of the investigation to Parliament.
Legal Aid can provide advice and representation for public officers called as witnesses or served with notices or summonses by the Commission or the Parliamentary Inspector.
For more information
The Bench Book - a guide to Corruption and Crime Commission serious misconduct examinations provides an introduction to appearing at Commission examinations, explains examination processes, and outlines what you can expect if you have been summonsed to give evidence or produce documents.
Public vs private examinations
The Commission has significant investigative powers and discretion as to how and when they are applied.
These include the power of holding examinations in public or private, where witnesses are compelled to answer questions put to them by the Commission.
Most examinations are held in private to maintain the integrity of an active investigation and to protect the identity, privacy, and reputation of witnesses.
The Commission may open an examination to the public if, having weighed the benefits of public exposure and awareness against the potential for prejudice or privacy infringements, it considers that it is in the public interest to do so.
Public examinations can be attended by anyone and are streamed live on the Commission's website.
To name or not to name
The Commission regularly publishes information, including reports on investigations, when it is in the best interests of the community to do so.
On each occasion it assesses whether the names of people involved in the investigation should be made public.
Every matter is different, however, generally:
If you are a witness in a Commission examination, you will have been served with a summons. The summons will require you to give evidence or produce records.
You must report to the Commission on the date specified in the summons. You will need to attend until the Commission tells you that you are released.
Your summons may include instructions not to disclose any information about an examination to anyone.
This may include information about the summons, your attendance as a witness, information referred to in the summons, information in documents, statements, evidence or anything relevant to a Commission examination. Please read the notation carefully and make sure you comply with it.