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Crime And Misconduct Commission - Failure To Disclose/Publish Events

What the law says

Section 202 of the Crime and Misconduct Act, Queensland states:

(1) A person must not, without the commission's written consent or contrary to the commission's order, publish-

(a) an answer given, or document or thing produced, at a commission hearing, or anything about the answer, document or thing; or

(b) information that might enable the existence or identity of a person who is about to give or has given evidence before the commission (witness) at a hearing to be ascertained.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

(1) The accused published (orally or in writing):

(a) an answer given, or document or thing produced, at a commission hearing; OR

(b) anything about the an answer given, or document or thing produced, at a commission hearing; OR

(c) information that might enable the existence or identity of a person who is about to give or has given evidence before the commission (witness) at a hearing to be ascertained; AND

(2) The accused did not have written consent of the commission to make the publication.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

Maximum penalty - 85 penalty units or 1 year imprisonment

Penalty unit = $100.00

Which court will hear the matter

Under section 3(5) of the Criminal Code Act  Queensland this offence is classed a simple offence and therefore may be heard in the Magistrates Court pursuant to section 19 of the Justices Act Queensland.

It is also possible that your matter will be heard in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to the offence include, but are not limited to:

  1. You did not in fact publish any answer given, or anything about an answer given at a commission hearing.
  2. You did not in fact publish any document or thing given, or anything about a document or thing given at a commission hearing.
  3. You did not in fact publish any information that could enable the existence or identity of a witness at a hearing to be ascertained.
  4. You were permitted to make the publication as you had the written consent of the commissioner.
  5. You were permitted under section 202(2), to make the publication as:
    • (a) the publication was an answer given at a public hearing and the publication is was not contrary to an order of the commission;
    • (b) the publication was a document or thing produced at a public hearing and the publication was not contrary to an order of the commission;
    • (c) you were a witness that appeared at a public hearing and the publication was not contrary to an order of the commission;
    • (d) the publication was made to a person charged with the offence or a lawyer representing a person charged with the offence for the purpose of assisting in defending that charge.
    •  (e) the publication was made for the purpose of making a submission to the parliamentary committee about the conduct of the commission's investigation;
    • (f)   the publication was made for the purposes of a disciplinary charge or to start a prosecution for an offence and there was no order of the Supreme Court prohibiting the publication.
  6. You were permitted under section 202(3), to make the publication as:
    • (a) you are the witness, or the publication was made with the witness's implied or express consent; OR
    • (b) the information mentioned has been generally made known by the witness or by the commission.
  7. Duress - example: there was a threat of harm to the accused or another person that the accused reasonably believe would be carried out if he/she did not do the acts that constituted the offence.
  8. Insanity.
  9. Identification i.e. the accused was not the discloser.
 

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