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STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
17/07/2007
International Trade Integrity Bill 2007
STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
Senate committee
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
International Trade Integrity Bill 2007
Proof

CHAIR (Senator Barnett) —This is a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry into the provisions of the International Trade Integrity Bill 2007. The inquiry was referred to the committee by the Senate on 21 June 2007 for report by 1 August 2007. The bill amends the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945, the Customs Act 1901, the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The bill implements the Australian government’s response to recommendations 1 to 3 of the Report of the Inquiry into certain Australian companies in relation to the UN Oil-for-Food Programme by Commissioner Terence Cole QC. The committee has received three submissions to this inquiry. All submissions have been authorised for publication and are available on the committee’s website.

I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as contempt. It is also contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee. The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public, but under the Senate’s resolutions witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they intend to ask to give evidence in camera. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may, of course, also be made at any other time.

[4.12 pm]