Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

In general evidence to be given in private.


11.—(1) A commission shall conduct its investigation in private unless—

( a) a witness requests that all or part of his or her evidence be heard in public and the commission grants the request, or

( b) the commission is satisfied that it is desirable in the interests of both the investigation and fair procedures to hear all or part of the evidence of a witness in public.

(2) Where the evidence of a witness is heard in private—

( a) the commission may give directions as to the persons who may be present while the evidence is heard,

( b) legal representatives of persons other than the witness may be present only if the commission—

(i) is satisfied that their presence would be in keeping with the purposes of the investigation and would be in the interests of fair procedures, and

(ii) directs that they be allowed to be present,

( c) the witness may be cross examined by or on behalf of any person only if the commission so directs, and

( d) any member of the commission or a person who has been appointed under section 8 and is authorised by the commission to do so may, orally or by written interrogatories, examine the witness on his or her evidence.

(3) A person (including a member of the commission) shall not disclose or publish any evidence given or the contents of any document produced by a witness while giving evidence in private, except—

( a) as directed by a court,

( b) to the extent necessary for the purposes of section 12 ,

( c) to the extent otherwise necessary in the interests of fair procedures and then only with the written consent of the chairperson or, if the commission consists of only one member, the sole member, or

( d) to a tribunal in accordance with section 45 .

(4) Subsection (3) is not to be taken to prohibit the publication in a report under this Act of any facts established by a commission on the basis of evidence received in private.

(5) A person who contravenes subsection (3) is guilty of an offence.