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Crime And Misconduct Commission - Offence To Disclose Notice

What the law says

Section 84 of the Crime and Misconduct Act, Queensland states:

  1. A notice given by the chairperson under this part may provide that it is a confidential document. 
  2. A person must not disclose the existence of a confidential document to anyone else, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
  3. It is a reasonable excuse for a person to disclose the existence of a confidential document if-
    • (a) the disclosure is made for the purpose of-
      • (i)   seeking legal advice in relation to the document or an offence against subsection (2); or
      • (ii) obtaining information in order to comply with the document; or
      • (iii) making a complaint to the parliamentary committee about the document; or
      • (iv) the administration of this Act; and
    • (b) the person informs the person to whom the disclosure is made that it is an offence to disclose the existence of the document to anyone else unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

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 was given a notice to:
    • (a) produce for a crime investigation or witness protection function hearing under section 74; OR
    • (b) produce for a confiscation related investigation under s74A; OR
    • (c) disclose information under section 75; OR
    • (d) attend a hearing under section 82, 83, 84 or 85; AND
  2. The notice provided that it was a confidential document; AND
  3. The accused disclosed the notice to someone; AND
  4. The accused did not have a reasonable excuse for the disclosure.

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 were not given a notice.
  2. The notice did not provide that it was confidential.
  3. You did not in fact disclose the notice to any person.
  4. You had a reasonable excuse to disclose:
    • (a) as the disclosure was made for the purpose of:
      • (i) seeking legal advice in relation to the document or an offence against subsection (2); or
      • (ii) obtaining information in order to comply with the document; or
      • (iii) making a complaint to the parliamentary committee about the document; or
      • (iv) the administration of the Crime and Misconduct Act; and
    • (b) you informed the person that you made the disclosure to, that he/she could not disclose the notice to anyone unless they had a reasonable excuse.
  5. 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.
  6. Insanity.
  7. Identification i.e. the accused was not the discloser
 

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