Third party arbitration of public interest immunity claims

On 6 March 2014, the Senate adopted a recommendation made by the Legal and Constitutional References Committee in its report on A claim of public interest immunity raised over documents, referring the following matters to the committee:

  • the process for independent arbitration in the NSW Legislative Council, including that House’s standing order 52;
  • the applicability of the NSW Legislative Council’s model of independent arbitration to the Senate;
  • any adaptations or amendments needed to the NSW Legislative Council’s model in order to implement a similar model of independent arbitration in the Senate;
  • any amendments to Senate practice and procedure required to implement a model of independent arbitration;
  • suitable candidates for and / or qualifications required of an independent arbiter;
  • in respect of accessing and inspecting documents subject to a disputed claim for public interest immunity, the proposal in the 52nd Report of the Committee of Privileges whereby disputed documents are provided directly to an independent arbiter for evaluation; and
  • in respect of any such inquiry, the Procedure Committee have power to send for persons and documents, to move from place to place, and to meet and transact business in public or private session.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Mr Richard Pye
Clerk of the Senate
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 62773364