Tuesday, 6 January 2015

NSW voters are one step closer to knowing who "A Co" is

On 24 June 2014, the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) issued a summons to “A Co” requiring the production of certain documents, relating to email accounts and electronic calendars, in accordance with s 35(1)(a) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

“A Co” went to the NSW Supreme Court in August 2014 unsuccessfully seeking to quash the summons. The court concluding: There is nothing in the material before me or otherwise to support a conclusion that the Commission's decision to issue the summons miscarried, that the permissible scope of a summons issued under s 35 of the Act has been exceeded or that the law pursuant to which the summons was issued was otherwise invalid on constitutional grounds. In those circumstances, the plaintiff's challenge to the Commission's summons should be dismissed.

“A Co” then appealed the Supreme Court judgement in A v Independent Commission Against Corruption [2014] NSWCA 414 and lost on 5 December 2014, with the court continuing the suppression of the identity of the (a) the applicant or (b) the person whose electronic records are sought to be produced to the ICAC  until public release of any ICAC report of the investigation to which the summons to produce relates, or until further order of this Court.

As ICAC will not be issuing reports on any investigations ahead of the hearing of Independent Commission against Corruption v. Cunneen & Ors S302/2014 in the Australian High Court on 4 March 2015 and subsequent judgment, there are some months yet to wait on any unmasking of “A Co”.

Thereafter, the Streisand Effect may possibly come into play.

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