Recent Cases

AB (a pseudonym) v Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission [2024] HCA 10 (13 March 2024) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Edelman, Steward, Gleeson, Jagot and Beech-Jones JJ)


Statutes – Construction – Procedural fairness – Reasonable opportunity to respond – Where Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (“IBAC”) conducted investigation into allegations of unauthorised access to and disclosure of internal email accounts – Where IBAC provided redacted draft special report containing proposed adverse findings against appellants – Where IBAC refused to provide evidentiary material for proposed adverse findings – Where s 162(3) of Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) relevantly provided that, if IBAC intends to include in report “a comment or an opinion which is adverse to any person”, then IBAC must first provide person reasonable opportunity to respond to adverse material – Whether “adverse material” in s 162(3) referred to proposed adverse comments or opinions in report, or evidentiary material upon which proposed adverse comments or opinions based – Whether provision of substance or gravamen of adverse material sufficient to comply with obligation under s 162(3) – Whether substantive relief warranted where findings unaffected by misconstruction of s 162(3).

Words and phrases – “adverse comment or opinion”, “adverse finding”, “adverse material”, “evidentiary material”, “reasonable opportunity”, “reasonable opportunity to respond”, “special report”, “substance or gravamen”.