Legislative and Judicial Control of the Inquisitorial Process-Relevance to Australian Royal Commissions


Research Paper Index

Research Paper no. 5 2001-2002

British Tribunals of Inquiry: Legislative and Judicial Control of the Inquisitorial Process-Relevance to Australian Royal Commissions

Geoffrey Lindell
Consultant, Law and Bills Digest Group
15 April 2003

 

Executive Summary

Australian Royal Commissions and British Tribunals of Inquiry have been, and continue to be, used as accepted tools of government. They can investigate and report on major disasters or events that become matters of public concern as a result for example of some alleged maladministration in the workings of government. The current Royal Commissions on the collapse of HIH(1) and also into the building industry(2) provide the most recent illustrations of the uses made of such inquiries at the federal level of government.

To be fully effective these kinds of public inquiries are often given coercive powers of summoning witnesses and compelling the production of documents. However, their undoubted utility has to be balanced against other considerations such as their potential to harm the reputations, and intrude on the privacy, of individuals. This gives rise to the need to adopt safeguards for witnesses who may be called upon to appear before them. A related issue concerns the effect of adopting such safeguards on the costs and duration of inquiries. A further underlying issue concerns the appropriateness of using safeguards developed in adversarial proceedings in the kind of inquisitorial proceedings that are necessarily involved in public inquiries.

The paper(3) from which this brief is drawn attempts to assess the relevance of the experience generated by British Tribunals of Inquiry for Australian federal Royal Commissions especially when analysed against the background of judicial developments in some other jurisdictions such as New Zealand and Ireland. The experience of those countries may also provide insights into the law which governs the operation of Australian federal royal commissions and changes that might be considered to that law in the future.


Establishment and Composition of British Tribunals of Inquiry

Important questions arise regarding how public inquiries are established and what should be their composition.

The establishment of British Tribunals of Inquiry in 1921 in preference to parliamentary committees of inquiry was, in part, due to the inability of such committees to examine witnesses on oath. It was also due to the unhappy experiences which parliamentary inquiries had enjoyed in the past, essentially as a result of political partisanship. The former kinds of inquiries have frequently been conducted by senior judges. The appointment of members of the judiciary attracts significant advantages to the Executive branch of government since it bestows on those inquiries what has been described as the 'borrowed authority' of the judiciary. This is perceived as posing significant dangers for the independence of the judiciary and thus gives rise to serious questions of policy which in Australia are governed by constitutional and legal restraints founded on the separation of judicial powers.

The increased role of judges in the judicial review of governmental action under the recently enacted British Human Rights Act 1998 and the arrangements for the devolution of authority to the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, may require a re-examination of the advisability of appointing existing judges to Tribunals of Inquiry. One way of maximising the preservation of the authority and prestige of serving judges both in the United Kingdom and Australia is to appoint retired judges.

Scope of Inquiries and Need for Parliamentary Approval

Significant issues arise concerning the scope of the investigations undertaken by public inquiries. What matters are appropriate for such investigation? To what extent should the inquiries be carried on without the approval of parliament?

British Tribunals of Inquiry have been appointed to investigate over a wide range of incidents and matters including allegations of misconduct against Ministers of the Crown, civil servants, local authorities and police. Examples have involved improper gifts to Ministers, the improper disclosure of budget secrets and the official bank rate, accusations of brutality against police, disorders in Northern Ireland ('The Bloody Sunday Affair') and mine disasters. In recent times they have also involved the shooting of innocent children in Dunblane Primary School, the abuse of children in North Wales and the numerous deaths of patients treated by a private doctor. This gives rise to the issue of which inquiries can legally be held, and with whose approval, given the implications such inquiries have for the potential intrusion into the privacy of individuals. A full list of all British inquiries to date is attached in Schedule 1. Some statistical information regarding the length of an inquiry, the number of lawyers and witnesses involved and the volume of recorded evidence, in relation to three of these inquiries, may be found in Schedule 2. Australian Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry under the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cwlth) are listed at Schedule 3.

The suggestion put forward in the paper is that there is considerable merit in following the British model in two particular respects. The first is that of requiring parliamentary approval for the appointment of Tribunals of Inquiry. The second is to ensure that such inquiries are only permitted to inquire into 'definite matters' of 'urgent public importance' on the assumption that the primary judgment for forming an opinion on these matters is vested in the body which appoints the tribunal. The existing legal prohibition against the unauthorised delegation of the power to define the scope of a public inquiry operates as an important brake in limiting the extent to which Tribunals of Inquiry and Royal Commissions can be authorised to define their own terms of reference.

A related issue concerns the extent to which public inquiries can investigate questions of criminal liability given the serious implications such inquiries can pose for the holding of a fair trial since the findings of such inquiries are not legally authoritative and binding. Despite those implications, the analysis undertaken in this paper suggests that Tribunals of Inquiry and Royal Commissions can probably be appointed to inquire into whether individuals have committed criminal offences in the United Kingdom and Australia. This is subject to some restrictions which flow from the law of contempt once an individual is formally charged and put on trial. Although it was different before, the position is now probably the same in New Zealand as a result of statutory changes.

Conduct

General

The stages of an inquiry conducted by a Tribunal of Inquiry have been described in the following terms and would seem to be equally applicable to inquiries conducted by Australian Royal Commissions. These consist of:

  • a preliminary investigation of the evidence available
  • the determination by the tribunal of what it considers to be evidence relevant to the matters into which it is obliged to inquire
  • the service of such evidence on persons likely to be affected
  • the public hearing of witnesses in regard to such evidence
  • the cross-examination of such witnesses by or on behalf of persons affected thereby
  • the preparation of a report and the making of recommendations based on the facts established at such a public hearing.

To what extent should the conduct of a public inquiry be subject to legal regulation? Tribunals of Inquiry and Royal Commissions are, for the most part, legally free to determine their own procedures subject to the need to comply with the legally enforceable rules of procedural fairness developed by the courts. The extent of statutory regulation is for the most part quite small. The rules on procedural fairness have assumed a greater importance than might have originally been envisaged because of their evolving and dynamic character. In the United Kingdom a further constraint on the autonomy enjoyed by Tribunals, which has assumed a growing importance, flows from the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Salmon Principles

One of the important issues which arises from the creation of public inquiries relates to the rights of witnesses. What, if any, safeguards are needed to protect the rights of witnesses appearing before such inquiries? To what extent are the rights of parties and witnesses in ordinary legal proceedings appropriate for adoption in public inquiries vested with coercive powers to summon witnesses and require the production of documents?

The United Kingdom has seen in recent times the emergence of a debate as to how best to safeguard the rights of witnesses called to give evidence before public inquiries including Tribunals of Inquiry armed with coercive powers. The debate has been characterised by a difference between those who favour the adoption of the same kinds of safeguards enjoyed by witnesses in adversarial proceedings, as recommended in the Salmon Royal Commission Report in 1966(4), and those who argue that such safeguards are not appropriate to inquisitorial proceedings, as argued in the Scott Report in 1996.(5)

The paper from which this brief is drawn analyses in detail the way in which both approaches diverge as regards the circumstances that justify the involvement of witnesses, giving witnesses notice of adverse matters raised against them, legal representation of witnesses, and the cross-examination, examination in chief and re-examination of witnesses. The Salmon Royal Commission recommended what were described as six cardinal principles.

  • Principle 1: Before any person becomes involved in an inquiry, the Tribunal must be satisfied that there are circumstances which affect her/him and which the Tribunal proposes to investigate.
  • Principle 2: Before any person who is involved in an inquiry is called as a witness, s/he should be informed in advance of allegations against her/him and the substance of the evidence in support of the allegations.
  • Principle 3:

(a)    S/he should be given an adequate opportunity of preparing her/his case and of being assisted by legal advisers.

(b)   Her/his legal expenses should normally be met out of public funds.

  • Principle 4: S/he (the witness) should have the opportunity of being examined by her/his own solicitor or counsel and of stating his case in public at the inquiry.
  • Principle 5: Any material witnesses s/he wishes called at the inquiry should if reasonably practicable, be heard.
  • Principle 6: S/he should have the opportunity of testing by cross-examination conducted by her/his own solicitor or counsel any evidence which may affect her/him.

The approach of the Scott Report stressed the differences between the inquisitorial function of public inquiries and the adversarial nature of litigation. In the former:

  • There is no proceeding on an issue the subject of a proceeding between parties in any real or substantial sense: the inquiry directs the inquiry and the witnesses are of necessity witnesses called by or with the authority of the inquiry.
  • There is no plaintiff or defendant, no prosecutor or defendant.
  • There are no pleadings to define the issues to be tried, nor are there any charges, indictments, or depositions.
  • An inquiry may take a fresh turn at any moment. It is therefore difficult for persons involved to know in advance of the hearing what allegations may be made against them.

Litigation, on the other hand, involves each party having a case to be placed before a court for its consideration and procedures. This is designed to ensure that the defendant knows the essential nature of the other party's case. In an inquisitorial inquiry there are only witnesses who have or may have knowledge of some matters under investigation.

In the view taken in the Scott Report, the Salmon principles failed to satisfy three principal objectives of a public inquiry. These were:

  • the need to be fair and seen to be fair to those whose interests, reputations or fortunes may be adversely affected
  • the need for proceedings to be conducted with efficiency and as much expedition as is practicable
  • the need for the costs of the proceedings to be kept within reasonable bounds.

A recent report prepared by the British Council of Tribunals(6) and endorsed by the then British Government seemed to significantly downplay the difference between the two approaches and appeared to avoid coming down clearly in favour of one or the other of those approaches. The hallmark of its approach was flexibility and it believed that it was wholly impracticable to devise a single set of model rules or guidelines that will apply to every inquiry.

Although originally intended as nonlegally enforceable guidelines, the extent to which the recommendations to adopt the Salmon principles will be followed in the future in the United Kingdom may now depend on the extent to which courts will recognise them as forming part of the common law rules of procedural fairness. It is true that the Salmon principles have received legislative and constitutional recognition in other countries apart from the United Kingdom(7). However the writer of this paper believes that, overall, the arguments in favour of leaving the extent of their recognition in the hands of the courts outweigh those that favour their adoption as a statutory code.

Other Matters

The Salmon Report dealt with certain other matters which also deserve consideration for Australia. These included the importance of an inquiry explaining at the outset how it proposed to interpret the terms of reference of the inquiry and the procedures it proposed to adopt for the conduct of the inquiry. They also involved the desirability of avoiding where possible reliance on hearsay evidence and only relying on evidence that would have been admissible in ordinary court proceedings, when reporting on the conduct of individual witnesses. In addition Australian federal legislation is, with some exceptions, silent on whether inquiries should be conducted in public. The public nature of an investigation goes to the heart of one of the advantages of holding an inquiry, namely, securing the confidence of the public in the findings of the inquiry. The view expressed in the paper is that it is desirable to enact provisions similar to those enacted with respect to British Tribunals of Inquiry that would clarify the general obligation of Australian federal Royal Commissions to conduct their inquiries in public. The same applies to legislation that would define the period during which the law of contempt operates in relation to the proceedings of such Royal Commissions. The latter law protects the authority and ability of such inquiries to perform their appointed task.

Scope of Judicial Review

Public inquiries give rise to important questions concerning judicial review. In what circumstance are, and should, the proceedings of public inquiries be open to judicial review? What grounds are, and should, be available to challenge the conduct and findings of such inquiries in legal proceedings?

The essential assumption which underpins the overall desirability of leaving the protection of witnesses to the courts is that judicial review is available for that purpose. The historical and traditional obstacle in the way of reviewing their findings has always been the fact that the findings by bodies that are only appointed to inquire and report have not been seen as affecting the rights of individuals. It is suggested in this paper that the obstacle has now lost most of its force.

The courts in New Zealand have in recent times led the way in subjecting public inquiries to the operation of the normal principles of administrative law review. This allows challenges in the courts in relation to Royal Commissions that are based on the following grounds:

  • the establishment of the Royal Commission is beyond the legal power or authority to establish the Commission
  • the validity of its terms of reference
  • the procedures of the Commission are contrary to law
  • the procedures of the Commission do not comply with the rules of natural justice
  • the Commission has made an error of law, or
  • the continuation of an inquiry conducted by a Commission constitutes contempt.

Experience so far suggests that judicial review in the United Kingdom is likely, and has already begun, to follow the same course. The enactment of the British Human Rights Act has expanded the scope of judicial review by reference to wider considerations related to the protection of human rights. Such expansion of judicial review has given rise to some concern. That concern can only be underlined by the many judicial challenges launched against the procedures adopted by the second Tribunal of Inquiry appointed to investigate the 'Bloody Sunday' affair. The concerns can only be heightened by the fact that the challenges were launched despite the eminent and distinguished judges who were themselves appointed to that Tribunal; and also the lengthy period of time which elapsed before the same Tribunal was able to commence hearing witnesses.

Developments in Australia in regard to the availability of judicial review for Royal Commissions are likely to parallel, if they have not already done so, those that have taken place in New Zealand. This is complicated by the existence of possible jurisdictional or procedural drawbacks which, however, are not thought to be insuperable. Ironically, the drawbacks stem from statutory reforms that were designed to streamline the availability of judicial review and overcome the complexities that attended use of the traditional means by which courts could provide a remedy for unlawful administrative action. The federal legislation in point is the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cwlth). In the view advanced in this paper, the significance of the potential gaps in the jurisdiction which exist under that legislation is likely to have been reduced, if not eliminated, by the recent expansion in the jurisdiction conferred on the Federal Court as a result of insertion of sub-s. 39B(1A) in the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cwlth). Under those provisions the Court is given the jurisdiction to deal with any matter arising under a law of the Commonwealth.

The substantive grounds for judicial review in Australia are likely to replicate in large measure those that exist in New Zealand. The Australian High Court has recognised that injury to reputation is now recognised as a sufficient interest to attract the operation of the rules of procedural fairness. There have been decisions of other courts in Australia that have affirmed the ability to prevent Royal Commissions from exceeding their authority by for example going beyond their terms of reference. Once it is accepted that courts can intervene on those grounds it seems difficult to see at first sight why courts should take any different view in relation to the similar availability of the other grounds of challenge under the principles of administrative law. One Australian judicial decision has, however, highlighted the difficulty of relying on some of those grounds, at least when it comes to challenging the establishment of Royal Commissions and the scope of their inquiries. The Australian courts have recognised that the application of the ordinary principles of administrative law to inquisitorial bodies cannot ignore the inquisitorial character of such bodies.

There remains in Australia the further ground of challenge in relation to federal Royal Commissions based on constitutional considerations. This, in theory at least, prevents Royal Commissions from inquiring into matters that lie beyond the reach of federal legislative powers. But given the wide reach of those powers, and the difficulty of showing that a matter can never have any relevance to those powers, the successful establishment of this ground is not without its difficulties.

Absence of a Right of Appeal

The final issue concerns whether there is a right to appeal against the findings of a public inquiry.

None of the jurisdictions considered in this paper make provision for a right of appeal from the findings of Tribunals of Inquiry in the United Kingdom (and Ireland) or Royal Commissions in Australia and elsewhere. This is not surprising given the non-legally binding status of such findings. It is suggested in this paper that the absence of a right of appeal, when combined with the immunity enjoyed by such public inquiries from liability in defamation, may serve as an inducement to find indirect legal means of challenging findings which damage the reputation of individuals. This was illustrated by the events that surrounded the Royal Commission(8) into the crash of an Air New Zealand aircraft into Mount Erebus on 28 November 1979. This inquiry culminated with a landmark judicial decision which established the application of the rules of procedural fairness to Royal Commissions.

The Salmon Commission concluded against creating a right of appeal from the findings of a Tribunal of Inquiry. What emerges from the paper, however, is that both for policy and legal reasons, there will be occasions when it will be necessary to re-examine the findings of a public inquiry. The guiding objective should be to identify those occasions with the least possible judicial intervention. That intervention should be reserved as an option of last resort given the implications for cost and delay which that option necessarily involves.

With that in mind, it is suggested in the paper that a case can be made for improving the mechanisms for reviewing the findings of public inquiries which, for one reason or another, subsequently come under question in a way that will minimise the scope of judicial intervention. One such mechanism would take the form of suspending judicial review until governments are given the opportunity to obtain independent advice from a retired judge or senior practising lawyer on whether a new inquiry should be established to report on the whole or any part of the issues canvassed in the earlier inquiry.


Conclusions

  1. Royal commissions and tribunals of inquiry have been and continue to be used as an accepted tool of government.
  2. Their undoubted utility has to be balanced against other considerations such as their potential to harm the reputations, and intrude on the privacy, of individuals; as well as considerations of cost and duration of such inquiries.
  3. The existence of a unitary system of government in the United Kingdom reduces but does not eliminate the potential scope for a judicial challenge against the establishment of a tribunal of inquiry. The same scope may have increased as a result of the arrangements for the devolution of authority to Scotland and Wales which could give rise to the kind of challenges that are raised on federal grounds in Australia.
  4. The enactment of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (UK) was seen as providing a more satisfactory form of public inquiry than those conducted by parliamentary committees.
  5. The appointment of existing judges to Tribunals of Inquiry under the 1921 Act gives rise to serious questions of constitutional policy which in Australia are governed by legal restraints founded on the separation of judicial powers. The increased role of judges in the judicial review of governmental action under the Human Rights Act 1998 (UK) and the devolution arrangements may require a re-examination of the advisability of appointing existing judges to Tribunals of Inquiry.
  6. There is considerable merit in following the British example of (i) requiring parliamentary approval for the appointment of Tribunals of Inquiry with coercive powers of inquiry; and also (ii) only permitting their establishment to inquire into 'definite matters' of 'urgent public importance' on the assumption that the primary judgment for forming an opinion on these matters is vested in the body which appoints the tribunal.
  7. The prohibition against unauthorised delegation operates to limit the extent to which Tribunals of Inquiry and royal commissions can be authorised to define their own terms of reference
  8. It is probable that Tribunals of Inquiry and royal commissions can be appointed to inquire into whether named individuals have committed criminal offences in the United Kingdom and Australia, subject to some restrictions which flow from the law of contempt once an individual is formally charged and put on trial. The position is now probably the same in New Zealand as a result of statutory changes.
  9. Tribunals of Inquiry and royal commissions are for the most part legally free to determine their own procedures subject to the need to comply with the legally enforceable rules of procedural fairness. Those rules have assumed a greater importance than might have originally been envisaged because of their evolving and dynamic character.
  10. It is desirable to enact provisions similar to those enacted with respect to British Tribunals of Inquiry that would clarify the general obligation of Australian federal royal commissions to conduct their inquiries in public. The same applies to legislation that would define the period during which the law of contempt operates in relation to the proceedings of such royal commissions.
  11. The United Kingdom has seen in recent times the emergence of a debate as to how best to safeguard the rights of witnesses called to give evidence before public inquiries including Tribunals of Inquiry armed with coercive powers.
  12. The debate has been characterised by a difference between those who favour the adoption of the same kinds of safeguards enjoyed by witnesses in adversarial proceedings as recommended in the Salmon Royal Commission Report in 1966 and those who argue that such safeguards are not appropriate to inquisitorial proceedings as argued in the Scott Report in 1996.
  13. The paper analyses in detail the way in which both approaches diverge as regards the circumstances that justify the involvement of witnesses, giving witnesses notice of adverse matters raised against them, legal representation of witnesses, and the cross-examination, examination in chief and re-examination of witnesses.
  14. The recent report prepared by the Council of Tribunals and endorsed by the British Government seems to significantly downplay the difference between the two approaches and appears to avoid coming down clearly in favour of one or the other of those approaches. The hallmark of its approach was flexibility and it believed that it was wholly impracticable to devise a single set of model rules or guidelines that will apply to every inquiry.
  15. Although originally intended as non-legally enforceable guidelines, the extent to which the Salmon recommendations will be followed in the future may now depend on the extent to which courts will recognise them as forming part of the common law rules of procedural fairness.
  16. The Salmon recommendations have received legislative and constitutional recognition in other countries apart from the United Kingdom
  17. The writer believes that overall the arguments in favour of leaving the extent of their recognition in the hands of the courts outweigh those that favour their adoption as a statutory code.
  18. The essential assumption which underpins the overall desirability of leaving the protection of witnesses to the courts is that judicial review is available for that purpose.
  19. The courts in New Zealand have in recent times led the way in subjecting inquisitorial bodies to the operation of the normal principles of administrative law review and judicial review in the United Kingdom is likely to follow the same course.
  20. Developments in Australia in regard to the availability of judicial review for royal commissions are likely to parallel, if they have not already done so, those that have taken place in New Zealand, subject to the existence of possible procedural drawbacks which however are not thought to be insuperable.
  21. In Australia there remains an additional ground of challenge in relation to federal royal commissions that is based on constitutional considerations but this ground is not without its difficulties.
  22. The absence of a right of appeal against the findings of Tribunals of Inquiry and Royal Commissions may serve as an inducement to find indirect legal means of challenging findings which damage the reputation of individuals.
  23. A case can be made for improving the mechanisms for reviewing the finding of inquisitorial bodies which, for one reason or another, subsequently come under question in a way that will minimise the scope of judicial intervention.
  24. One such mechanism would take the form of suspending judicial review until governments are given the opportunity to obtain independent advice from a retired judge or senior practising lawyer on whether a new inquiry should be established to report the whole or any part of the issues canvassed in the earlier inquiry.

SCHEDULE 1 Inquiries held under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (UK)

 

Title

Members of Tribunal

Year

Command Number

Destruction of documents by Ministry of Munitions officials

Lord Cave
Lord Inchape
Sir W. Plender

1921

1340

Royal Commission on Lunacy and Mental Disorder given powers under the Act

H. Macmillan
(Chairman)

1924

2700

Arrest of R. Sheppard, R.A.O.C. Inquiry into conduct of Metropolitan Police

J. Rawlinson

1925

2497

Allegations made against the Chief Constable of Kilmarnock in connection with the dismissal of Constables Hill and Moore from the Burgh Police Force.

W. Mackenzie

1925

2659

Conditions with regard to mining and drainage in an area around the County Borough of Doncaster.

Sir H. Monro
(Chairman)

19268

 

Charges against the Chief Constable of St Helens by the Watch Committee.

C. Parry
T. Walker

1928

3103

Interrogation of Miss Irene Savidge by Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard

Sir J.E. Banks
H. Lees-Smith
J. Withers

1928

3147

Allegations of bribery and corruption in connection with the letting and allocation of stances and other premises under the control of the Corporation of Glasgow.

Lord Anderson
Sir R. Boothby
J. Hunter

1933

4361

Unauthorised disclosure of information relating to the Budget

Sir J. Porter
G. Simonds
R. Oliver

1936

5184

The circumstances surrounding the loss of HM Submarine 'Thetis'

Sir J. Bucknill

1939

6190

The conduct before the Hereford Juvenile Court Justices of the proceedings against Craddock and others

Lord Goddard

1943

6485

The administration of the Newcastle upon Tyne Fire, Police and Civil Defence Services

R. Burrows

1944

6522

Bribery of Ministers of the Crown or other public servants in connection with the grant of licences, etc.

Sir J. Lynskey
G. Russell Vick
G. Upjohn

1948

7616

Allegations of improper disclosure of information relating to the raising of the Bank Rate

Lord Parker
E. Holland
G. Veale

1957

350

Allegations that John Waters was assaulted on 7 December 1957, at Thurso and the action taken by Caithness Police in connection therewith

Lord Sorn
Sir J. Robertson
J. Dandie

1959

718

The circumstances in which offences under the Official Secrets Act were committed by William Vassall

Lord Radcliffe
Sir J. Barry
Sir E. Milner-Holland

1962

2009

The disaster at Aberfan

Sir E. Davies
H. Harding
V. Lawrence

1967

H.C. 553

The events on Sunday, 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day ('Bloody Sunday')

Lord Widgery

1972

H.C. 220/72

The circumstances leading to the cessation of trading by the Vehicle and General Insurance Co. Ltd

Sir A. James
M. Kerr
S. Templeman

1972

H.C. 133

The extent to which the Crown Agents lapsed from accepted standards of commercial or professional conduct or of public administration as financiers on their own account in the years 1967/74

Sir D. Croom-Johnson
Sir W. Slimmings
Lord Allen

1982

H.C. 364

The shootings at Dunblane Primary School, 13 March 1996

Lord Cullen

1996

3386

Abuse of children in care in North Wales

Sir Ronald Waterhouse, M. le Fleming
M. Clough

2000

 

A further inquiry into The events on Sunday, 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day ('Bloody Sunday')

Lord Saville
Sir E. Somers
W. Hoyt
J. Toohey

Still sitting (began 1998)

 

Inquiry into the death of Dr Shipton's patients

Lady Janet Smith

Still sitting (began 2001)

 

 


SCHEDULE 2 Statistical Information

 

 

Length

Number of lawyers

Number of witnesses

Volume of recorded evidence

Aberfan disaster 1966

26.10.66 17.7.67
76 days

31

134

4236 pages

Vassall 1962

15.11.62 5.4.63
29.5 days

25

142

552 pages

Dunblane school shootings 1996

21.3.96 30.9.96

17

178

1600 letters/33 739 petitions

Abuse of children in care in Wales

17.6.96 7.5.98
(witnesses heard between
4.2.97 12.3.98)

52

575

43 000 pages
(examination of 9500 social services files)

Note: This information was compiled by the writer from the reports of the above randomly selected inquiries and also, in the case of the last inquiry, from material supplied by the Lord Chancellors Department.


SCHEDULE 3 Australian Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry
under the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cwlth)

19012001

 

Reports column: indicates the location of the report in the Parliamentary Papers Series, held at major libraries. The annotation 'tabled not printed' designates reports presented to Parliament which are not ordered to be printed. Whilst these are parliamentary papers, they do not form part of the Parliamentary Papers Series. Some of these items were published separately, and some have what is known as a List Number which is relevant only for Parliamentary Library staff. Some unpublished reports are held by the National Archives of Australia; in some of these cases, the location symbol NAA is used.

State column: indicates Royal Commissions which were appointed both by the Commonwealth and the States/Territories named.

Title

Date of Letters PatentDate Final Report Presented

Commissioners

Report (Year / Volume / Pages)

State

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the arrangements made for the transport of troops returning from service in South Africa in the S.S. Drayton Grange

12 August9 October 1902

A. McLean (Chair), D. A. Gresswell, G. McGregor, D. Thomson, W. D. Williams

190102/II/11935

 

Royal Commission on sites for the seat of government of the Commonwealth

14 January17 July 1903

J. Kirkpatrick (Chair), A. W. Howitt, H. C. Stanley, G. Stewart

1903/II/211320

 

Royal Commission on the Bonuses for Manufactures Bill

15 January 19032 March 1904

C. C. Kingston (Chair), E. N. C. Braddon, J. Cook, S. W. Cooke, G. W. Fuller, L. E. Groom, W. M. Hughes, J. W. Kirwan, J. W. McCay, S. Mauger, D. Watkins, J. C. Watson

1904/II/14071620

 

Royal Commission on the butter industry

11 April 190427 July 1905

G. C. Morison (Chair), G. Graham, H. G. Turner

1904/II/162131, 1905/II/121991

 

Royal Commission on the Navigation Bill

29 June 190414 June 1906

W. M. Hughes (Chair), G. B. Edwards, L. E. Groom, R. S. Guthrie, W. Knox, H. de Largie, J. Macfarlane, S. Mauger, D. Thomson

1906/III/11036, 190708/IV/159

 

Royal Commission on the affray at Goaribari Island, British New Guinea, on the 6th of March, 1904

25 July 190413 September 1904

C. E. R. Murray

1904/II/67175

 

Royal Commission on customs and excise tariffs

12 December 19049 August 1907

J. Quick (Chair), F. Clarke, J. S. Clemons, J. M. Fowler, G. W. Fuller, W. G. Higgs, G. McGregor, T. Playford, G. W. Wamsley

1905/II/22367, 1906/IVV (whole vols), 190708/IV/5291673

 

Royal Commission on old-age pensions

27 February 190519 June 1906

A. Chapman (Chair), F. W. Bamford, L. Bonython, C. E. Frazer, J. P. Gray, H. W. Lee, K. OMalley, J. Page, G. F. Pearce, T. Skene, S. Smith, J. Styles

1906/III/14351805, 190708/II/12511253

 

Royal Commission on the tobacco monopoly

30 December 190514 June 1906

G. F. Pearce (Chair), E. Findley, J. P. Gray, J. H. Keating, J. C. Stewart, W. H. Story, J. Styles

1906/III/18072234

 

Royal Commission on ocean shipping service

11 January29 June 1906

J. Thomas (Chair), J. M. Chanter, J. Gibb, C. McDonald, H. Mahon, S. Smith, W. G. Spence, D. Storrer, H. Willis

1906/III/10371433

 

British New GuineaRoyal Commission of inquiry into the present conditions, including the method of government, of the Territory of Papua, and the best means of their improvement

27 August 190620 February 1907

J. A. K. MacKay (Chair), C. E. Herbert, W. E. Parry Okeden

1907/I/137463

 

Royal Commission on secret drugs, cures, and foods

11 December 19068 August 1907

O. C. Beale

190708/IV/61527

 

Royal Commission on postal services

22 June 19085 October 1910

J. H. Cook (Chair), H. de Largie, E. Mulcahy, C. C. Salmon, D. Storrer, W. Webster, W. H. Wilks

1910/IVV (whole vols)

 

Royal Commission on insurance

15 December 19081 July 1910

J. H. Hood (Chair), G. H. Knibbs

1909/II/139394, 1910/II/10431346

 

Royal Commission on stripper harvesters and drills

15 December 190830 July 1909

A. Poynton (Chair), J. M. Chanter, G. W. Fuller, J. K. McDougall, S. Sampson

1909/II/14771874

 

Royal Commission on Tasmanian customs leakage

30 December 19103 October 1911

J. A. Jensen (Chair), F. W. Bamford, J. Forrest, W. J. Lyne, W. J. McWilliams, E. A. Roberts, A. Wynne, W. N. Hedges, S. Sampson

1911/III/8531238

 

Royal Commission on the sugar industry

24 October 19114 December 1912

J. H. Gordon (Chair 191112), W. J. Brown (Chair 1912), R. M. M. Anderson, T. W. Crawford, A. Hinchcliffe, M. R. Shannon

1912/III/10351125, 1913/IV/11692316

 

Royal Commission on the pearl-shelling industry

3 April 191230 August 1916

F. W. Bamford (Chair), T. Givens, W. E. Johnson, W. J. McWilliams, H. Mahon, W. Maloney

1913/III/577803, 191417/V/83141

 

Royal Commission on the fruit industry

12 April 19128 October 1914

F. J. Foster (Chair), W. F. Finlayson, D. J. Gordon, P. J. Lynch, R. K. Ready, S. Sampson, J. Thomson

1913/IV/11167, 1914/II/22345, 191417/V/193211

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into certain charges against Mr. Henry Chinn

4 January27 November 1913

H. Hodges

1913/III/12451252

 

Royal Commission on Northern Territory railways and ports

28 March 191324 June 1914

F. Clarke (Chair), D. Lindsay, A. Combes.

1914/II/677731

 

Royal Commission on powellised timber

19 December 19138 October 1914

H. Gregory (Chair), J. Bennett, R. J. Burchell, W. J. McWilliams, K. OMalley, A. Poynton, H. Sinclair

1914/II/65556, 191417/V/84390

 

Royal Commission upon the Commonwealth electoral law and administration

20 January 191414 July 1915

H. Sinclair (Chair), R. W. Foster, W. Maloney, W. H. Laird Smith, R. Patten

1914/II/21112, 191415/II/43554

 

Royal Commission on meat export trade

5 June2 December 1914

P. W. Street

191417/V/563609

 

Royal Commission on food supplies and trade and industry during the war

31 August16 December 1914

A. Deakin (Chair), G. H. Knibbs, D. Thomson

191417/V/14386

 

Royal Commission on mail services and trade development between Australia and the New Hebrides

31 March28 July 1915

F. W. Bamford (Chair), W. E. Johnson

191417/V/665724

 

Royal Commission on Liverpool Military Camp, New South Wales

12 July20 August 1915

G. E. Rich

191417/II/27397

 

Royal Commission on the charges made by D. L. Gilchrist concerning the construction of the western section of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway

23 March13 September 1916

J. G. Eagleson

191417/IV/13411400

 

Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon certain charges against the Administrator and other officers of the Northern Territory Administration

11 May13 September 1916

A. N. Barnett

191417/I/484 (reference only, tabled not printed)

 

Royal Commission on Federal Capital Administration

14 June 191614 June 1917

W. Blacket

191417/II/10671112, 1917/II/178

 

Royal Commission on Java and the East Indies, Singapore and the Straits Settlements

7 February 191710 May 1918

J. J. Long

191719/V/106397

 

Royal Commission on Navy and Defence Administration

2 July 19174 July 1919

W. G. McBeath (Chair), J. Chalmers, P. T. Taylor, F. A. Verco

191719/IV/175463

 

Royal Commission on the warAustralian Imperial Force. Report as to number of members fit for active service and number of reinforcements and enlistments required

6 March4 April 1918

S. W. Griffith

191719/IV/64750

 

Royal Commission on Public Service administration, Commonwealth of Australia

2 October 191828 July 1920

D. C. McLachlan

192021/IV/15251620

 

Royal Commission upon the public expenditure of the Commonwealth of Australia with a view to effecting economies

21 November 19186 April 1921

R. Gibson (Chair), G. G. Haldane, G. H. Turton

191719/V/15251615, 192021/IV/12971517

 

Royal Commission on taxation of leasehold estates in Crown lands

18 December 19189 October 1919

G. H. Knibbs (Chair), H. O. Allan, H. A. G. Curry

191719/VI/102772

 

Royal Commission on the sugar industry

31 March 191918 March 1920

A. B. Piddington (Chair), N. C. Lockyer, S. Mills

192021/IV/90560

 

Royal Commission on industrial troubles on Melbourne wharfs

7 June 19196 May 1920

G. J. Dethridge

192021/IV/68792

 

Royal Commission on late German New Guinea

12 August 191921 May 1920

J. H. P. Murray (Chair), A. A. Hunt, W. H. Lucas

192021/III/15391621

 

Royal Commission to inquire into complaints by the munition worker passengers to Australia by the transport Bahia Castillo

15 October 191924 December 1919 [date report completed]

P. Cohen (Chair), C. R. W. Brewis, H. W. Lloyd

NAA A11803, control symbol 1919/89/670

 

Royal Commission on Northern Territory Administration

12 November 191921 May 1920

N. V. Ewing

192021/III/165369

 

Royal Commission on the basic wage

6 December 191923 November 1920

A. B. Piddington (Chair), R. Cheney, H. C. Gibson, W. D. Gilfillan, E. E. Keep, T. C. Maher, A. C. Morley, G. M. Allard, J. A. Harper

192021/IV/529645

 

Royal Commission on taxation

10 September 192013 June 1923

W. W. Kerr (Chair), M. B. Duffy, J. G. Fairleigh, J. J. Garvan, J. Jolly, S. Mills, W. T. Missingham, J. Thomson

192021/III/11511243, 1922/II/10231177, 192324/III/21932304

QLD, TAS, WA

Royal Commission on the increase of the selling price of coal

30 September 192020 October 1920 [date report completed]

C. Hibble (Chair), A. Jobson, H. H. Ling

NAA A460, control symbol A5/42

 

Royal Commission on the matter of uniform railway gauge

8 February12 October 1921

J. J. Garvan (Chair), R. Blake, F. M. Whyte

192021/V/75798

 

Royal Commission on pillaging of ships cargoes

12 February12 July 1921

W. M. MacFarlane

192021/IV/797826

 

Royal Commission on Cockatoo Island Dockyard

25 April14 July 1921

M. Reid (Chair), W. J. McWilliams, W. G. Mahoney, W. M. Marks, C. W. C. Marr, T. J. Ryan, R. V. Wilson

192021/IV/116

 

Royal Commission upon the loyalty to the British Crown of German Nationals resident in Australia whose property is liable to a charge created by the Treaty of Peace Regulations made under the Treaty of Peace (Germany) Act 19191920

7 July 192111 November 1921 [date report completed]

W. M. MacFarlane

NAA A6006, control symbol 1921/12/31

 

Royal Commission on the circumstances attending the supposed loss at sea of the steamship Sumatra

25 July3 August 1923

J. J. Cohen (Chair), H. Chudleigh, J. Vine-Hall

192324/I/113 [reference only; tabled not printed]

 

Royal Commission in connection with sugar purchases by the Commonwealth through Mr. W. E. Davies in September and October, 1920

24 August 192327 March 1924

E. F. Mitchell

192324/II/164757

 

Royal Commission in connection with joinery supplied to the War Service Homes Commissioner in March, 1920

7 September 192327 March 1924

H. H. Henchman

192324/IV/35359

 

Royal Commission on the Navigation Act

7 September 192313 August 1925

J. H. Prowse (Chair), F. Anstey, W. L. Duncan, H. E. Elliott, C. S. McHugh, A. C. Seabrook, G. E. Yates, H. J. M. Payne

192324/II/10191120, 1925/I/129 (reference only), 1925/II/132343

 

Royal Commission on national insurance

7 September 19235 October 1927

J. D. Millen (Chair), B. Benny, J. Francis, J. Grant, A. E. Green, R. F. H. Green, J. F. Guthrie, J. A. H. Hunter, A. McDougall, W. G. Mahony

1925/II/12691321, 192628/IV/141186

 

Royal Commission on the method for determining the unimproved value of land held under Crown leases

12 July 192410 June 1925

W. W. Kerr (Chair), M. B. Duffy, J. Jolly

1925/II/9731033

 

Royal Commission on the assessment of war service disabilities

27 August 192410 June 1925

C. B. Blackburn (Chair), A. V. M. Anderson, W. W. Giblin, E. S. Jackson, H. S. Newland

1925/II/6772

 

Royal Commission to inquire into extracts from the reports in Parliamentary Debates of speeches made by Mr. Scullin in the House of Representatives on 7th and 19th August, 1924, in relation to land tax matters

9 September 192410 June 1925

D. S. Edwards

1925/II/103561

 

Royal Commission on the finances of Western Australia, as affected by Federation

5 November 192423 September 1925

W. G. Higgs (Chair), J. Entwistle, S. Mills

1925/II/14631641

 

Royal Commission on health

7 January 192514 January 1926

G. A. Syme (Chair), J. S. Greig, F. S. Hone, S. R. Innes-Noad, R. H. Todd

192628/IV/12471370

 

Royal Commission on Norfolk Island affairs

20 January13 August 1926

F. Whysall

192628/IV/14871563

 

Royal Commission on certain matters in connexion with the British Phosphate Commission

13 June11 August 1926

A. Robinson

192628/IV/106784

 

Royal Commission on wireless

28 January5 October 1927

J. H. Hammond (Chair), C. E. Crocker, J. A. M. Elder, A. J. B. McMaster

192628/IV/15651603

 

Royal Commission on the Edie Creek (New Guinea) leases

2 March5 October 1927

P. B. MacGregor

192628/IV/121334

 

Royal Commission on the moving picture industry in Australia

28 May 192726 April 1928

W. M. Marks (Chair), W. L. Duncan, F. M. Forde, J. Grant, H. Gregory, H. Hays, L. W. Nott

192628/IV/13711409

 

Royal Commission on the Constitution

18 August 192721 November 1929

J. B. Peden (Chair), P. P. Abbott, T. R. Ashworth, E. K. Bowden, H. P. Colebatch, M. B. Duffy, D. L. McNamara

192931/II/8971296

 

Royal Commission on child endowment or family allowances

28 September 192718 March 1929

T. S. OHalloran (Chair), J. Curtin, I. Evans, S. Mills, F. M. Muscio

1929/II/12811405

 

Royal Commission of inquiry into fatalities at Bundaberg

1 February13 June 1928

C. H. Kellaway (Chair), P. MacCallum, A. H. Tebbutt

192628/IV/10851211

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into statements in the press in regard to offers alleged to have been made to members to resign seats in the Federal Parliament

28 May4 September 1928

E. Scholes

192628/IV/123545

 

Royal Commission on the finances of South Australia, as affected by Federation

28 July 192822 August 1929

J. Cook (Chair), A. E. Barton, H. R. Brookes

1929/II/220148

 

Royal Commission on the coal industry

3 June21 November 1929

C. G. W. Davidson (Chair), H. W. Gepp, L. K. Ward

192931/II/88188

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into allegations affecting members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts in connexion with claims made by broadcasting companies against the Commonwealth Government

15 May8 August 1930

G. J. Dethridge

192931/III/62938

 

Royal Commission on Jacob Johnson

29 August 19311 October 1931 [date report completed]

G. S. Beeby

NAA A432, control symbol 1929/170 Part 8 Attachment 2

 

Royal Commission on performing rights

19 September 193224 May 1933

L. Owen

193234/IV/11631220

 

Royal Commission on taxation

6 October 193228 November 1934

D. G. Ferguson (Chair), E. V. Nixon

193234/IV/224996, 193437/III/19172118

 

Royal Commission on mineral oils and petrol and other products of mineral oils

6 April 19338 April 1935

S. E. Lamb (Chair), J. Gunn, A. J. Hancock

193437/III/457820

 

Royal Commission on the wheat, flour and bread industries

25 January 19341 April 1936

H. W. Gepp (Chair), T. S. Cheadle, C. W. Harper, E. P. M. Sheedy, S. M. Wadham

193234/IV/242567, 193437/IV/1690

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the circumstances associated with the retirement of Lieutenant-Commander Alan Dermot Casey from the Royal Australian Navy

11 July23 October 1934

J. M. Napier

193437/III/89103

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the monetary and banking systems at present in operation in Australia

15 November 193524 August 1937

J. M. Napier (Chair), J. P. Abbott, J. B. Chifley, R. C. Mills, E. V. Nixon, H. A. Pitt

193437/V/15571964

 

Royal Commission on doctors remuneration for national insurance service and other contract practice

18 July 1938

G. J. Dethridge (Chair), G. M. Allard, R. D. Mulvey

Commission lapsed, no report issued; NAA AA1969/10, control symbols 2A2D

 

Royal Commission regarding the contract for the erection of additions to the General Post Office, Sydney

7 June7 September 1939

A. V. Maxwell

193740/IV/102551

 

Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon the contract or contracts with Abbco Bread Co. Pty. Limited for the supply of bread to the Department of the Army, and other matters

28 March21 August 1941

A. V. Maxwell

194043/III/944

 

Royal Commission to inquire into circumstances under which certain public monies were used and to whom, and for what purposes such moneys were paid

27 September25 November 1941

P. H. Rogers

194043/III/241 [reference only; tabled not printed]

 

Royal Commission in the matter of an inquiry into a statement that there was a document missing from the official files in relation to The Brisbane Line

29 June28 September 1943

C. J. Lowe

194344/I/13 [reference only; tabled not printed]

 

Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon certain transactions of the Sydney Land Sales Control Office, and the Canberra Land Sales Control Office of the Treasury

13 June25 September 1947

R. C. Kirby

194648/I/263 [reference only; tabled not printed]

 

Royal Commission appointed to inquire into certain transactions in relation to timber rights in the Territory of Papua-New Guinea

11 January24 June 1949

G. C. Ligertwood

194849/IV/115593

 

Royal Commission on the Port Augusta to Alice Springs Railway

June 19519 July 1952

A. A. Wolff (Chair), R. J. Fitch, J. A. Fargher

NAA AA1972/341, control symbol 72

 

Royal Commission on television

11 February 195329 September 1954

G. W. Paton (Chair), C. B. Bednall, M. Foxton, R. G. Osborne, R. C. Wilson, N. S. Young

195455/III/679809

 

Royal Commission on espionage

3 May 195414 September 1955

W. F. L. Owen

195455/III/187677

 

Royal Commission on alleged improper practices and improper refusal to co-operate with the Victoria Police Force on the part of persons employed in the Postmaster-Generals Department in Victoria in relation to illegal gambling

23 May 196223 May 1963

R. L. Taylor

196263/V/397-554

 

Royal Commission on loss of H.M.A.S. Voyager

14 February26 August 1964

J. A. Spicer

19646566/XIII/289341

 

Royal Commission on the statement of Lieutenant Commander Cabban and matters incidental thereto

31 May 1967-13 March 1968

S. C. Burbury (Chair), K. W. Asprey, G. A. G. Lucas

1968/1/9671245

 

 

Title

Date of Letters PatentDate Final Report Presented

Commissoners

Report (Year / Volume /

Place Number)

State

Royal Commissions into exploratory and production drilling for petroleum in the area of the Great Barrier Reef

5 May 197011 February 1975

G. Wallace, V. J. Moroney, J. E. Smith

1975/13/23

QLD

Aboriginal Land Rights Commission

8 February 1973-17 July 1974

A. E. Woodward

1973/1/1, 1974/1/1

 

Australian Post Office Commission of inquiry

22 February 1973-23 July 1974

J. Vernon (Chair), B. J. Callinan, J. J. Kennedy

1974/2/12

 

Commission of inquiry into land tenures

4 May 197326 May 1976

R. Else-Mitchell, R. L. Mathews, G. J. Dusseldorp

1974/8/10, 1976/12/1

 

Royal Commission on petroleum

12 September 19738 December 1976

W. H. Collins

1974/14/2, 1975/13/4, 1975/13/1, 1976/16/35

 

Commission of Inquiry into the maritime industry

25 September 19732 November 1976

M. M. Summers

1974/17/1516, 1976/23/15

 

Independent Inquiry into Frequency Modulation Broadcasting

27 November 197313 March 1974

F. McLean, C. C. Renwick

1974/2/6

 

Commission of Inquiry into transport to and from Tasmania

10 April 197425 March 1976

J. F. Nimmo

1976/24/5

 

Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration

6 June 197418 August 1976

H. C. Coombs (Chair), P. H. Bailey, E. Campbell, J. E. Isaac, P. R. Munro

1976/19/15

 

Royal Commission on human relationships

21 August 197428 February 1978

E. Evatt (Chair), F. R. Arnott, A. B. Deveson

1976/8/9, 104108/1978

 

Royal Commission on intelligence and security

21 August 1974-25 October 1977

R. M. Hope

92/1977, 246249/1977

 

Royal Commission into alleged payments to maritime unions

5 September 197425 May 1976

J. B. Sweeney

List number 340/1975 (tabled not printed); 1976/24/4

 

Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon certain incidents in which Aborigines were involved in the Laverton area [WA Royal Commission with a Commonwealth nominee and costs shared by Commonwealth and WA Governments]

23 April 1975-13 April 1976

G. D. Clarkson (Chair), E. F. Bridge, E. F. Johnston

WA Parl Papers 1976, Vol 8.

WA

Royal Commission on Norfolk Island

15 May 1975-16 November 1976

J. A. Nimmo

1976/21/4

 

 

Title

Date of Letters PatentDate Final Report Presented

Commissioners

Report (Paper No. / Year)

State

Australian Royal Commission of inquiry into drugs

13 October 197716 September 1980

E. S. Williams

275/1979, 2529/1980, 226/1980

VIC, QLD, WA, TAS

Royal Commission of inquiry into matters in relation to electoral redistribution Queensland, 1977

24 April 197815 August 1978

D. G. McGregor

263/1978

 

Commission of inquiry into the efficiency and administration of hospitals

29 August 197926 February 1981

J. H. Jamison (Chair), C. W. L. de Boos, H. R. H. Holmes Court, J. S. Yeatman

181/1980, 2022/1981

TAS, QLD, WA

Commission of inquiry into the viability of the Christmas Island phosphate industry

20 December 197921 February 1980

W. W. Sweetland

36/1980

 

Royal Commission on the activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union

10 September 19801 November 1984

F. X. Costigan

72/1982, 185/1982, 223/1983, 284289/1984

VIC

Royal Commission of inquiry into drug trafficking

25 June 198131 May 1983

D. G. Stewart

119/1982, 41/1983, 186/1983 [NZ Report]

NSW, VIC, QLD, NZ

Royal Commission into the activities of the Australian Building Construction Employees and Builders Labourers Federation

20 August 198120 October 1982

J. S. Winneke

296/1982

VIC

Royal Commission into Australian meat industry

12 September 198121 September 1982

A. E. Woodward

222/1982

VIC

Royal Commission of inquiry into the activities of the Nugan Hand Group [extension of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drug Trafficking 19811983]

28 March 198327 November 1985

D. G. Stewart

275/1983, 65/1985, 368369/1985

NSW

Royal Commission on the use and effects of chemical agents on Australian personnel in Vietnam

13 May 198322 August 1985

P. G. Evatt

288296/1985

 

Royal Commission on Australias security and intelligence agencies

17 May 198322 May 1985

R. M. Hope

323/1983, 1/1984, 230232/1985

 

Commission of inquiry into compensation arising from social security conspiracy prosecutions

9 February 198410 June 1986

R. Mitchell

174/1986

 

Royal Commission into British nuclear tests in Australia

16 July 19845 December 1985

J. R. McLelland (Chair), J. Fitch, W. J. Jonas

482484/1985

 

Royal Commission of inquiry into alleged telephone interceptions

29 March 19851 May 1986

D. G. Stewart

155/1986

NSW & VIC

Royal Commission of inquiry into Chamberlain convictions.

2 April 19862 June 1987

T. R. Morling

192/1987

NT

Royal Commission into grain storage, handling and transport

13 October 198615 March 1988

J. C. McColl

4042/1988

NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA

Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody

16 October 19879 May 1991

J. H. Muirhead (Chair 198789), E. F. Johnston (Chair 198991), J. H. Wootten, L. F. Wyvill, D. J. ODea, P. Dodson

2024, 101102, 126, 129, 142, 209, 265, 409410/1989; 4849, 5557, 151158, 195199, 217228, 292300, 386387, 404/1990; 13, 2429, 6388, 119136/1991

NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS, NT

Commission of inquiry into the Australian Secret Intelligence Service

15 March 19949 May 1995

G. J. Samuels, M. H. Codd

List number 281/1995 (tabled not printed)

 

Royal Commission of inquiry into the leasing by the Commonwealth of accommodation in Centenary House

16 May 19947 November 1994

T. R. Morling

344/1994

 

Commission of Inquiry into the relations between the CAA and Seaview Air

25 October 19949 October 1996

L. Street (199495), J. H. Staunton (199496)

List numbers 354355/1996 (tabled not printed)

 

HIH Royal Commission

29 August 20014 April 2003 [deadline for final report]

N. J. Owen

Publication of final report awaited

 

Royal Commission into the building and construction industry

29 August 200124 February 2003

T. R. H. Cole

List number 559/2002 (tabled not printed); final report tabled 26 and 27 March 2003

 

Note: Prepared by the Department of the Parliamentary Library.


Endnotes

  1. HIH Royal Commission,29 August 20014 April 2003 [deadline for final report],Commissioner N. J. Owen.
  2. Royal Commission into the building and construction industry August 200124 February 2003 [deadline for final report],Commissioner T. R. H. Cole.
  3. Published in full by Federation Press: Professor Geoffrey Lindell, Tribunals of Enquiry and Royal Commissions, Law and Policy Paper no. 22, 2002, Centre for International & Public Law/Federation Press, Sydney, 2003, ISBN 1 86287 456 5/PB. For details see http://www.fedpress.aust.com, phone (02) 9552 2200.
  4. Royal Commission on Tribunals of Inquiry, 1966, report of the Commission under the chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Salmon, H.M.S.O., London, 1966.
  5. Report of the Inquiry into the Export of Defence Equipment and Dual Use Goods to Iraq and Related Prosecutions: return to an address of the Honourable House of Commons dated 15th February 1996, Sir Richard Scott, in 6 vol., H.M.S.O., London, 1996.
  6. Council on Tribunals: Advice to the Lord Chancellor on the procedural issues arising in the conduct of public inquiries set up by Ministers (July 1996).
  7. For full details see Federation Press publication, op. cit. at 3.
  8. Report of the Royal Commission into the crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica, of a DC10 aircraft operated by Air New Zealand Limited, Commissioner Hon. P. T. Mahon, Govt Printer, Wellington, 1981.

 

 

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