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Royal Commissions Amendment Bill 2013

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2010-2011-2012-2013

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

Royal Commissions Amendment Bill 2013

 

 

Schedule of the amendments made by the Senate

 

 

 

 

 

(1)     Schedule  1 , page 3 (before line 3) , before item  1 (before the heading relating to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 ) , insert:

Freedom of Information Act 1982

1A  After subsection 7(2D)

Insert:

          (2E)  A Minister and an agency are exempt from the operation of this Act in relation to the following documents:

                     (a)  a document that has originated with, or has been received from, the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission (within the meaning of Part 4 of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 ) and:

                              (i)  that contains information obtained at a private session (within the meaning of that Part); or

                             (ii)  that relates to a private session and identifies a natural person who appeared at a private session;

                     (b)  a document that contains a summary of, or an extract or information from, a private session.

(2)     Schedule  1 , item  30 , page 7 (after line 24) , after the heading to Part 4, insert:

Division 1 Definitions

(3)     Schedule  1 , item  30 , page 8 (after line 3) , after section 6OA, insert:

Division 2 Private sessions

(4)     Schedule  1 , item  30 , page 8 (line 15) , omit “ section 6OD ”, substitute “ Division 3 ”.

(5)     Schedule  1 , item  30 , page 9 (line 27) to page 10 (line 23) , omit section  6OD .



 

(6)     Schedule  1 , item  30 , page 11 (after line 10) , at the end of Part  4 , add:

Division 3 Privacy of private sessions

6OG   Privacy of private sessions

                   A private session must be held in private, and only persons who are authorised by a member of the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission holding the private session may be present during the private session.

6OH   Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure of information given at a private session

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person obtains information:

                              (i)  at a private session; or

                             (ii)  that was given at a private session; and

                     (b)  the person makes a record of, uses or discloses the information; and

                     (c)  none of the following applies:

                              (i)  the record, use or disclosure is for the purposes of performing functions or duties or exercising powers in relation to the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission;

                             (ii)  the person is authorised to make the record of, or use, disclose or publish, the information in accordance with section 6OJ (inclusion of information in reports and recommendations), 6P (Commission may communicate information) or 9 (custody and use of records of Commission);

                            (iii)  the person gave the information at the private session;

                            (iv)  the person makes the record of, uses or discloses the information with the consent of the person who gave the information at the private session.

Penalty:  20 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both.

Note:          For a defence to this offence, see section 6OK.

6OJ   Inclusion of information in reports and recommendations

                   Information that relates to a natural person that has been obtained at a private session may be included in a report or recommendation of the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission only if:

                     (a)  the information is also given as evidence to the Commission or under a summons, requirement or notice under section 2; or

                     (b)  the information is de-identified.

6OK   Defence for disclosure to person who provided the information

                   Section 6OH does not apply to a disclosure of information to the person who gave the information at a private session.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

6OL   No other exceptions under other laws

             (1)  A provision of a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory has no effect to the extent that it would otherwise require or authorise a person to make a record of, use or disclose information obtained at a private session if the record, use or disclosure:



 

                     (a)  would contravene a provision of this Division; or

                     (b)  would not be permitted by a provision of this Division.

             (2)  Subsection (1) has effect whether the provision concerned is made before or after the commencement of this section.

6OM   Relationship with the Archives Act 1983

             (1)  For the purposes of the Archives Act 1983 , a record:

                     (a)  that contains information obtained at a private session; or

                     (b)  that relates to a private session and identifies a natural person who appeared at a private session;

is in the open access period on and after 1 January in the year that is 99 years after the calendar year that the record came into existence.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, subsection (1) applies in relation to a record even if the record came into existence after the private session.

             (3)  Subsection 3(7) and section 56 of the Archives Act 1983 do not apply to a record referred to in subsection (1).

(7)     Schedule  1 , page 11 (after line 14) , after item  31 , insert:

31A  After subsection 6P(2B)

Insert:

          (2C)  A person who obtains information, evidence, a document or a thing in accordance with this section may (subject to sections 6DD and 6OE) make a record of, use or disclose the information, evidence, document or thing for the purposes of performing his or her functions or exercising his or her powers.

 

 

 

 

 

Rosemary Laing

Clerk of the Senate

 

 

The Senate

19 March 2013