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ROYAL COMMISSIONS ACT 1902 - SECT 6D

Rights of witness

             (1)  Nothing in this Act shall make it compulsory for any witness before a Royal Commission to disclose to the Commission any secret process of manufacture.

             (2)  If any witness before a Royal Commission requests that the witness' evidence relating to a particular subject be taken in private on the ground that the evidence relates to the profits or financial position of any person, and that the taking of the evidence in public would be unfairly prejudicial to the interests of that person, the Commission may, if it thinks proper, take that evidence in private, and no person who is not expressly authorised by the Commission to be present shall be present during the taking of that evidence.

             (3)  The Commission may, in accordance with subsection (3A), direct that:

                     (a)  any evidence given before it; or

                     (b)  the contents of any document, or a description of any thing:

                              (i)  produced before, or delivered to, the Commission; or

                             (ii)  produced under a notice under subsection 2(3A); or

                            (iii)  given under a notice under subsection 2(3C); or

                     (c)  any information that might enable a person who has given evidence before the Commission to be identified;

must not be published, or must not be published except in such manner, and to such persons, as the Commission specifies.

          (3A)  A direction under subsection (3) may be given:

                     (a)  if the direction is given at an authorised member hearing of the Commission--either by:

                              (i)  the President or Chair of the Commission (unless the President or Chair is not the member, or one of the members, of the Commission holding the hearing); or

                             (ii)  the member, or all of the members, of the Commission holding the hearing; or

                     (b)  if the Commission is constituted by 2 or more members and the direction is not given at an authorised member hearing of the Commission--either by:

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

                             (ii)  a majority of the members of the Commission; or

                     (c)  if the Commission is constituted by a sole Commissioner--by the sole Commissioner.

             (4)  A person who makes any publication in contravention of any direction given under subsection (3) commits an offence punishable, upon summary conviction, by a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.

             (5)  This section shall be read as in aid of and not as in derogation of the Commission's general powers to order that any evidence may be taken in private.



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