Australia's Privilege Against Self-Discrimination In Criminal Conduct

577 Words3 Pages
Unompelling – Inquiries and Examinations of possibly criminal conduct
Australia still maintains a privilege against self-incrimination in criminal matters. Although this privilege can be abrogated in certain circumstances , the law holds this privilege as a paramount right of defendants. It specifically includes the right to not make a statement and/or to not give evidence on your own behalf.
That works fine for the defendant who has been arrested and charged on the complaint of someone else, but what about where the defendant has previously been investigated by a professional body or commission of inquiry and was compelled by law to disclose documents, answer questions; and is now arrested and charged for the same conduct that was the subject
…show more content…
The unanswered question created by these two seeming contradictory outcomes is at what point does the ability to compel a person to answer potentially incriminating questions end? That is, can a person who is likely to be charged with a criminal offence avoid being questions by another body over the same subject matter, or is that right reserved only for a person who has been charged and is awaiting trial?
The answer, and ultimate reconciliation of the competing findings came this year in R v IBAC where the appellants were ‘persons of interest’ in a criminal investigation at the same time as the IBAC compelled them to give evidence about the same conduct that would be the subject of any criminal charges laid.
The majority of the Court decided that in order to defeat the power of compulsion afforded to a body such as the IBAC, the criminal justice system must be in action and that would require a charge to have been laid and a trial waiting to

More about Australia's Privilege Against Self-Discrimination In Criminal Conduct

Open Document