Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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ROYAL COMMISSIONS ACT 1902 - SECT 2

Power to summon witnesses and take evidence

             (1)  A member of a Commission may summon a person to appear before the Commission at a hearing to do either or both of the following:

                     (a)  to give evidence;

                     (b)  to produce the documents, or other things, specified in the summons.

          (1A)  If a Commission is constituted by 2 or more members, a hearing of the Commission may be held by one or more members of the Commission if each of the members holding the hearing is either:

                     (a)  the President or Chair of the Commission; or

                     (b)  authorised in writing by the President or Chair of the Commission to hold authorised member hearings in relation to the Commission.

          (1B)  The following person presides at an authorised member hearing:

                     (a)  the President or Chair of the Commission;

                     (b)  if the President or Chair is not one of the members holding an authorised member hearing--the member of the Commission who is authorised in writing by the President or Chair to preside at the hearing.

             (2)  The member of a Commission presiding at a hearing of the Commission may require a person appearing at the hearing to produce a document or other thing.

             (3)  A Commission may, at a hearing, take evidence on oath or affirmation and for that purpose:

                     (a)  a member of the Commission may require a person appearing at the hearing to give evidence either to take an oath or to make an affirmation in a form approved by the member of the Commission presiding at the hearing; and

                     (b)  a member of the Commission, or a person who is an authorised person in relation to the Commission, may administer an oath or affirmation to a person so appearing at the hearing.

          (3A)  A member of a Commission may, by written notice served (as prescribed) on a person, require the person to produce a document or thing specified in the notice to a person, and at the time and place, specified in the notice.

          (3B)  A member of a Commission must not require, under subsection (3A), a person to produce a document or thing at a private session (within the meaning of Part 4).

          (3C)  A member of a Commission may, by written notice served (as prescribed) on a person, require the person to give information, or a statement, in writing to a person by the time, and at the place or in the manner, specified in the notice.

             (4)  In this section, a reference to a person who is an authorised person in relation to a Commission is a reference to a person authorised in writing, or a person included in a class of persons authorised in writing, for the purposes of this section by:

                     (a)  in relation to an authorised member hearing--the member of the Commission presiding at the hearing; and

                     (b)  in relation to a Commission that is constituted by 2 or more members (except if paragraph (a) applies)--the President or Chair of the Commission; and

                     (c)  in relation to a sole Commissioner--the Commissioner.

             (5)  For the purposes of sections 3, 6AA and 6AB, the power of a member of a Commission under this section to require or summon a person to produce a document includes the power to require or summon the person to produce a document that is subject to legal professional privilege.

Note:          Under section 6AA, legal professional privilege might still be a reasonable excuse for refusing or failing to produce the document.



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