What is the Australian Crime Commission?

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) is a Commonwealth statutory authority established to investigate serious and organised crime under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002. The ACC has coercive powers which enable it to obtain information through means not available to State or Federal Police including the power to:-

• summons a witness to appear before an Examiner;

• require a witness to give evidence under oath of their knowledge of criminal activities allegedly involving themselves or others;

• require a person to produce documents or other things.

In addition to its coercive powers, the ACC has access to a broad range of traditional investigative methods including telephone interception and surveillance devices.

The ACC not only gathers intelligence on specific criminal activity, it also maintains a criminal database to assist other law enforcement agencies through the sharing of criminal information and intelligence.

The ACC works in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies and Government. This includes the formation of Joint Taskforces with other State and Federal agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, Customs, ASIC and the Australian Taxation Office.

Information obtained by the ACC can be referred to other agencies including the police for further investigation and prosecution.

Legal Representation

Undergoing a coercive examination is invariably daunting and extremely stressful. Witnesses are not permitted to refuse to answer questions on the grounds of self-incrimination. For this reason, the advice given in relation to an ACC examination is very different to the advice commonly given in the course of ordinary criminal investigations.

Witnesses called to give evidence before the ACC are subject to strict confidentiality requirements which, if breached, can result in serious consequences including criminal prosecution.

A person summonsed to appear before the ACC is not permitted to discuss the matter with anyone other than his or her legal representative. The choice of a lawyer familiar with the operations of the ACC and the obligations under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 is therefore critical.

Our lawyers are experienced in acting and appearing for witnesses and persons the subject of investigation by the ACC. Should you require representation in relation to any aspect of the ACC’s operations, please contact Tony Hargreaves & Partners on 9605 3250.

Relevant Legislation includes:

Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth)

Australian Crime Commission Regulations 2002 (Cth)