Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Royal Commission?
A Royal Commission is a public inquiry. In Australia, Royal Commissions are the highest form of inquiry on matters of public importance.
Why is a Royal Commission different from other inquiries?
A Royal Commission has broad powers to gather information to assist with its inquiry. The Royal Commission has the power to summons witnesses to appear before it and the power to request individuals or organisations produce documents as evidence.
How does the Royal Commission decide what it investigates?
The terms of reference sets out the key areas of investigation for the Royal Commission.
Is assistance available if I want to engage with the Royal Commission?
There is a legal advice service for people wishing to engage with the Royal Commission.
What is a submission?
A submission is a statement to the Royal Commission which assists the Commission in its collection of information that is relevant to the inquiry as set out in the terms of reference.
Can I publish my own submission on my website or elsewhere?
Yes, you are free to publish and share your own submission once you have sent it to the Royal Commission.
Will my submission be published on the Royal Commission website?
The Royal Commission intends to publish some of the submissions that it receives—but only where the person making the submission has indicated that they agree to its publication. However, the Royal Commission reserves the right not to publish certain submissions or to redact information within a submission. This includes circumstances where the information in a submission is not relevant to the Royal Commission’s terms of reference, where matters are subject to a non-publication order, or where there are privacy concerns about the information.
How can I find out when hearings are on?
The Royal Commission will publicise its public hearings on the website and elsewhere. You can subscribe to our mailing list for emails from the Royal Commission (including details about hearings). For information about hearings after they have been held (including videos and transcripts), check the Hearings page on the website.
If I make a submission, will I be called to be a witness at a Royal Commission hearing?
At hearings, the Royal Commission will hear from people identified by Counsel Assisting to appear as a witness and give evidence. Not everyone who makes a submission will appear at a hearing.
Is financial assistance available if I am called as a witness?
Legal financial assistance is available to individuals and entities to assist with meeting the costs of legal representation and disbursements associated with engaging with the Royal Commission, including as a witness.