S 15 Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act, Witness Summons

Jun 5, 2019 | Jay & Co

The purpose of the Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act 2004 (MCIP Act) is to structure and provide a system for properly authorising and oversight of coercive powers that can be used to investigate and prosecute organised crime offences and to target, specifically, the reduction of organised crime offences.

In order for a coercive power to be used in relation to an organised crime offence an application must be made to the Supreme Court (Section 5, MCIP Act).

The powers that are provided for in Section 15 of the MCIP Act allow the Chief Examiner (This is a specialised office that deals with serious crimes) to issue a witness summons for

  • attending an examination before the Chief Examiner
  • to produce specific documents or other things requested

The things that should be considered when issuing a witness summons is both the evidentiary value of the information requested and any vulnerabilities of the particular witness the summons has been issued to.

An witness summons also provides the power to immediately request the witness to appear before the Chief Examiner if it is reasonably believe a delay would result in lost or destroyed evidence, the commission of an offence, the escape of an offender, or serious prejudice to an investigation.

When you receive a witness summons it MUST state:

  • the general nature of the matter you are being questioned about (unless it is believed the disclosure of this information would prejudice the investigation)
  • that these coerecive powers have been authorised by the Supreme Court and which date this order was made
  • be in in the prescribed form

If you require assistance in any of these sort of matters, contact the Jay & Co team for further information.