(1) In this section:
"disclosure order" means an order made by a federal court in a civil proceeding requiring a person to disclose information, as part of, or in connection with a freezing or search order, but does not include an order made by a court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 .
"relevant person" means a person to whom a disclosure order is directed.
(2) If a relevant person objects to complying with a disclosure order on the grounds that some or all of the information required to be disclosed may tend to prove that the person:
(a) has committed an offence against or arising under an Australian law or a law of a foreign country; or
(b) is liable to a civil penalty;
the person must:
(c) disclose so much of the information required to be disclosed to which no objection is taken; and
(d) prepare an affidavit containing so much of the information required to be disclosed to which objection is taken (the privilege affidavit ) and deliver it to the court in a sealed envelope; and
(e) file and serve on each other party a separate affidavit setting out the basis of the objection.
(3) The sealed envelope containing the privilege affidavit must not be opened except as directed by the court.
(4) The court must determine whether or not there are reasonable grounds for the objection.
(5) Subject to subsection (6), if the court finds that there are reasonable grounds for the objection, the court must not require the information contained in the privilege affidavit to be disclosed and must return it to the relevant person.
(6) If the court is satisfied that:
(a) any information disclosed in the privilege affidavit may tend to prove that the relevant person has committed an offence against or arising under, or is liable to a civil penalty under, an Australian law; and
(b) the information does not tend to prove that the relevant person has committed an offence against or arising under, or is liable to a civil penalty under, a law of a foreign country; and
(c) the interests of justice require the information to be disclosed;
the court may make an order requiring the whole or any part of the privilege affidavit containing information of the kind referred to in paragraph (a) to be filed and served on the parties.
(7) If the whole or any part of the privilege affidavit is disclosed (including by order under subsection (6)), the court must cause the relevant person to be given a certificate in respect of the information as referred to in paragraph (6)(a).
(8) In any proceeding in an Australian court:
(a) evidence of information disclosed by a relevant person in respect of which a certificate has been given under this section; and
(b) evidence of any information, document or thing obtained as a direct result or indirect consequence of the relevant person having disclosed that information;
cannot be used against the person. However, this does not apply to a criminal proceeding in respect of the falsity of the evidence concerned.
(9) Subsection (8) does not prevent the use against the relevant person of any information disclosed by a document:
(a) that is an annexure or exhibit to a privilege affidavit prepared by the person in response to a disclosure order; and
(b) that was in existence before the order was made.
(10) Subsection (8) has effect despite any challenge, review, quashing or calling into question on any ground of the decision to give, or the validity of, the certificate concerned.
(11) If a person has been given a certificate under a prescribed State or Territory provision in respect of information of a kind referred to in paragraph (6)(a), the certificate has the same effect, in a proceeding to which this subsection applies, as if it had been given under this section.
(12) For the purposes of subsection (11), a prescribed State or Territory provision is a provision of a law of a State or Territory declared by the regulations to be a prescribed State or Territory provision for the purposes of that subsection.
(13) Subsection (11) applies to:
(a) a proceeding in relation to which this Act applies because of section 4; and
(b) a proceeding for an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or for the recovery of a civil penalty under a law of the Commonwealth, other than a proceeding referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
Note 1: Bodies corporate cannot claim this privilege: see section 187.
Note 2: Clause 3 of Part 2 of the Dictionary sets out what is a civil penalty.