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February 26, 2013

Star Chamber in Australia

by dankrogers

Increasingly as a criminal lawyer, I am appearing for clients in crime commission hearings. Crime commissions have extraordinary powers that most of us don’t realise. Imagine this:

1. You receive a subpoena to go to a crime commission…

2. You must go or a warrant will be issued for your arrest…

3. You attend and are asked questions…

4. You must answer ANY question asked…

5. It doesn’t matter if that question relates to criminal activity by you, a friend or a loved one, you must answer…

6. If you don’t answer – you are charged with contempt and are jailed…

7. If you lie (to protect yourself or someone else) – you are charged with perjury and are jailed.

This is the short reality¬†of crime commissions as they have developed in Australia. Recently, I wrote an academic article explaining their development in more detail. If you’re interested, you can read it on my firm’s website.

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