Practice Guideline 4
- Practice Guidelines
This Practice Guideline relates to applications for non-publication of documents or materials produced to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
Practice Guideline 4 - Applications for non-publication
- This Practice Guideline relates to applications for non-publication of documents or materials produced to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide (Commission). It should be read in conjunction with the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) (the Act), the terms of reference contained in the Letters Patent establishing the Commission dated 8 July 2021, and other Practice Guidelines. Note also Practice Guideline 3, which deals with legal professional privilege.
- This Practice Guideline may be varied or replaced at any time.
- The Commission has powers under the Act to direct that any evidence given before it not be published.
- Where a person wishes to claim:
- public interest immunity;
- parliamentary privilege; or
- any other basis for non-publication,
in respect of any information or documents provided to the Commission (including in oral evidence), and wishes to apply for a direction to be made pursuant to s 6D(3) of the Act, the following procedure applies.
- In relation to documents or materials, the person should clearly indicate the pages, or the part of the page, containing information or documents over which non-publication is claimed in the following way as applicable:
- Where a person is producing documents pursuant to the Document Management Protocol, they should follow the procedures in the Document Management Protocol for the designation of information that a person seeks not be published.
- In all other cases:
- Where non-publication is claimed over an entire document, all pages of the document should be marked clearly with the word ‘Confidential’ and a word or phrase indicating the basis of the non-publication application.
- Where non-publication is claimed over particular pages in a document, the first page of the document should be marked ‘Partly Confidential’ and the particular pages should be identified to the Commission and marked clearly with the word ‘Confidential’ and a word or phrase indicating the basis of the non-publication application.
- Where non-publication is claimed over part of a page or pages or particular words or phrases in a document, the first page of the document should be marked ‘Partly Confidential’ and the relevant parts of the document should be identified to the Commission and marked with the word ‘Confidential’ and a word or phrase indicating the basis of the non-publication application.
- A person wishing to obtain a non-publication direction in relation to documents and/or materials must, within the time set for that person to produce the document or material to the Commission, provide to the Solicitors Assisting the Commission at DVSRC.OSA@royalcommission.gov.au a written application and a statement of evidence and submission to support that application.
- In relation to oral evidence, an application for non-publication must be made:
- orally at the time in which the evidence is provided at any public hearing; or
- in writing, as soon as practicable, following the provision of the oral evidence, and in any case within 12 hours of that evidence being provided.
- The Commissioners may, at their discretion, require an applicant who has made an oral application for non-publication to also produce written submissions and/or a statement of evidence in support of the application.
- Any written application must:
- identify with particularity the basis for each claim of non-publication and the supporting statement and submissions;
- provide the direction sought by the person; and
- be accompanied by the document or material in both unredacted and redacted form, produced in line with the requirements of the Document Management Protocol, as published by the Commission.
- In relation to any application for non-publication, the Commissioners will:
- maintain confidentiality over the subject matter of the application pending the determination of the application;
- invite or require Counsel Assisting or Solicitors Assisting the Commission to make a submission in response;
- decide the application on the papers or notify the person or their representative if a hearing is required prior to a decision being made (subject to paragraph 8 above); and
- notify the person or their representative in writing of the decision.
- At the time that a document or material subject to such an application is proposed to be tendered, the application for non-publication, and any determination of it, will be brought to the attention of the Commissioners.
- Any claim not accompanied by an application, written or oral, as outlined above, will be deemed to have not complied with this Practice Guideline and not be considered for non-publication by the Commissioners.