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Royal Commissions Amendment (Protection of Information) Bill 2021

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2019-2020-2021

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

Royal Commissions Amendment (Protection of Information) Bill 2021

 

 

(1)     Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 5), after item 5, insert:

5A  After section 6O E (1)

Insert:

          (1A)  The following are also not admissible in evidence against a natural person in any civil or criminal proceedings in any court of the Commonwealth, of a State or of a Territory:

                     (a)  a statement or disclosure made on behalf of the person at a private session;

                     (b)  the production of a document or other thing on behalf of the person at a private session;

                     (c)  a statement or disclosure made on behalf of the person to a member, or member of the staff, of a Royal Commission for the purposes of a private session (whether or not a private session was, or is to be, held for the Commission).

5B  Subsection 6O E(2)

Omit “Subsection (1) does not”, substitute “Subsections (1) and (1A) do not”.

[admissibility of evidence]

(2)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (lines 14 to 16), omit paragraph 6O P(1)(b), substitute:

                     (b)  the information contains any of the following:

                              (i)  an account of the natural person’s, or another person’s, experiences of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation;

                             (ii)  an account of the natural person’s, or another person’s, experiences of systemic violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation; and

[systemic violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation]

(3)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (line 17), after “information”, insert “directly or indirectly”.

[identification of natural person etc.]

(4)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (lines 23 to 25), omit subsection 6O P(2), substitute:

             (2)  Section 6O E applies:

                     (a)  in all cases—in relation to the natural person who gave the information to the Commission, as if the information were a statement or disclosure made by that person at a private session for the Commission; and

                     (b)  if the information was given to the Commission on behalf of another natural person—in relation to the other natural person as if the information were a statement or disclosure made on behalf of that other person at a private session for the Commission.

[admissibility of evidence]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (after line 28), after subsection 6O P(3), insert:

          (3A)  Section 6O J applies in relation to the information as if it were information obtained at a private session for the Commission.

[confidentiality]

(6)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (after line 31), at the end of section 6O P, add:

             (5)  A reference in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) to experiences of systemic violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is a reference to experiences, or an awareness, of a policy, procedure, practice, act or omission that contributed, or may have contributed, to a natural person experiencing violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation.

[systemic violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 8, page 5 (after line 10), after subitem (1), insert:

(1A)     Section 6O E of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 , as amended by this Schedule, applies in relation to a statement or disclosure made, or a document or other thing produced:

                     (a)  on or after the commencement of this item, at, or for the purposes of, a private session for a Royal Commission that is established on or after that commencement; or

                     (b)  before, on or after the commencement of this item, at, or for the purposes of, a private session for a Royal Commission that:

                              (i)  is established before that commencement; and

                             (ii)  conducts all or part of an inquiry after that commencement.

[admissibility of evidence]