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Friday, 16 December 1983
Page: 4003


Senator HARRADINE(3.28) —I move amendment No. (17) to clause 91 which deals with self-incrimination:

(17) Page 40, clause 91, lines 19 to 31, leave out the clause, insert the following clause: ''91. Without limiting the generality of the expression ' reasonable excuse' in section 89 or 90, it is hereby declared that it is a reasonable excuse- (a) for the purposes of section 89, for a person to refuse or fail to furnish information or produce a document that the furnishing of the information or the production of the document might incriminate the person; and (b) for the purposes of section 90, for a person to refuse or fail to answer a question put to the person at an inquiry, or to refuse to produce a document that the answer to the question or the production of the document might incriminate the person.''.

I think that it is a most reasonable amendment. We are not dealing here with a tribunal which has or indeed should have the powers of a royal commission. Under normal circumstances it is not mandatory for persons to produce material or to furnish information which is self-incriminating in nature. I suggest that the amendment I have moved is in the nature of a civil liberties amendment. It is one that I believe should attract the support of civil libertarians in this chamber.