Public inquiries

The ICAC may hold a public inquiry as part of an investigation.

In order to hold a public inquiry, the ICAC must make a public announcement of the public inquiry setting out the general scope and purpose of the inquiry, and the time and place of the inquiry.

Requirement to attend

As for private examinations, we have the power to require a person to attend a public inquiry. More information on our powers can be found here.

Who can appear?

Any person or body (whether public or not) may apply to the ICAC to appear at a public inquiry, and the Commissioner may permit the person or representative of a body if he is satisfied that this is appropriate. A person or representative of a body appearing at a public inquiry, or their legal practitioner or agent (if any) may make submissions to the Commissioner and with the ICAC's approval, ask witnesses questions relevant to the inquiry.

Right of response

If allegations are made against a person or body at a public inquiry that, if true, could reasonably affect the ICAC's findings on the subject matter of the inquiry, the ICAC must give the person or body a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The Commissioner may determine whether the opportunity to respond is to be given by allowing the person or body to make written submissions to the inquiry, to appear at the inquiry, or both.

Information for witnesses

Information for witnesses can be found here.

Directions for private hearing and non-publication

A public inquiry will to be open to the public unless the Commissioner directs otherwise. Such directions may include:

  • that the inquiry (or part of it) be held in private;
  • excluding a person from the inquiry or part of it;
  • prohibiting or restricting publication of information that would enable a witness or person or body appearing to be identified and contacted;
  • prohibiting or restricting publication of evidence given at the inquiry.

It is an offence to contravene these directions.

If the Commissioner receives a request for a direction that the inquiry or part of it be held in private, arguments for this request must be heard and held in private to determine the request, unless the Commissioner has reason to believe the request is vexatious or without merit.

Public inquiry reports

More information on public inquiry reports are available here.