Recent Cases

Crime and Corruption Commission v Carne [2023] HCA 28 (13 September 2023) (Kiefel CJ; Gageler, Gordon, Edelman and Jagot JJ)


State Parliament – Parliamentary privilege – Where Crime and Corruption Commission (“Commission”) conducted investigation in response to complaint alleging corrupt conduct and maladministration by Public Trustee of Queensland – Where Commission then composed Report on allegations and investigation – Where Commission sought to use Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (“Committee”) to make Report public – Where Commission requested Committee direct under s 69(1)(b) of Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) (“CC Act”) that Report be given to Speaker of Legislative Assembly to be tabled in Legislative Assembly – Where s 69(1)(b) direction not given prior to or during court proceedings – Where Committee issued certificate under s 55 of Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 (Qld) (“POQ Act”) certifying Report was a document prepared for the purposes of, or incidental to, transacting business of the Committee under s 9(2)(c) of POQ Act – Where s 9 of POQ Act defined “proceedings in the Assembly” to include “all words spoken and acts done in the course of, or for the purposes of or incidental to, transacting business of the Assembly or a committee” – Where “proceedings in the Assembly” could not be impeached or questioned in any court under s 8 of POQ Act – Whether court precluded by s 8(1) of POQ Act from making declaration concerning Report because preparation and presentation of Report were “proceedings” in Legislative Assembly.

Statutes – Construction – Statutory powers – Where CC Act established Commission and its functions and powers – Where Commission conducted investigation into alleged corrupt conduct – Where only consequent actions Commission took under CC Act were referring information to Attorney-General and making recommendations to Acting Public Trustee – Where s 69 of CC Act applied to report on public hearing, research report or “other report” that Committee directs be given to Speaker of Legislative Assembly – Whether Report was “other report” for purposes of s 69(1)(b) of CC Act.

Words and phrases – “adverse comment”, “business of the Assembly or a committee”, “corrupt conduct”, “corruption functions”, “for the purposes of, or incidental to, transacting business”, “impeached or questioned in any court”, “investigations and reporting”, “parliamentary privilege”, “proceedings in the Assembly”, “reporting powers”, “tabling requirements”, “unit of public administration”.