What is a Royal Commission?

A Royal Commission is a formal body established by a Governor for the purpose of making a public investigation into a particular issue. There are a number of Royal Commissions currently taking place, and at Emma Turnbull Lawyers we have extensive experience in representing witnesses and appearing in hearings. 

The Royal Commission has powers beyond ordinary Court powers and you can be compelled to answer questions. It is important to understand your obligations but also to ensure that you have representation to assist you and protect your legal interests throughout the hearing.

What is a summons?

A summons to attend a Royal Commission means you are called upon most likely to give evidence in relation to the issue the Commission deals with. Once summoned, it is important to seek legal advice and representation immediately. The powers of a Royal Commission are extensive, many go above what a regular Court can exercise. If you do not attend when summoned, there can be serious consequences, including a warrant for your arrest being issued. 

Once summoned, a Commission has the power to compel you to give evidence, produce relevant documents and issue search warrants. It is important you understand the reasons you are summoned and the rights you have in a Royal Commission hearing. 

If you have received a summons to appear as a witness in a Royal Commission hearing please contact our office immediately on (03) 9077 4834 to obtain advice about your legal rights and obligations as well as information about the process involved.

Recent and current Commissions

At Emma Turnbull lawyers, we have particular expertise when it comes to Royal Commissions. In recent times, our office was involved nationwide in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse Public Hearings. We have assisted clients with preparation of statements, investigation and cross examination of witnesses and written submissions in advance of final reports. 

Currently we are involved in the following ongoing Commissions:

  • Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect, Abuse and Exploitation of People with Disability;
  • Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety; and
  • Royal Commission into the Management of Informants.

We have represented witnesses in Royal Commissions in Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory South Australia and Tasmania. Our experience has allowed us to develop the skills and expertise required to work in this complex area of law. 

Our team can assist with:

  • Drafting and settling witness statements
  • Representing you at Public Hearings and Private Sessions
  • Written submissions in support of the Royal Commission findings

To find more information on any of the current Commissions Emma Turnbull lawyers is participating in, click on the hyperlinks below:

Violence, Neglect, Abuse and Exploitation of People with Disability:

Aged Care Quality and Safety:

Management of Informants:

Emma Turnbull Lawyers have provided advice, assisted with submissions and represented witnesses in Public Hearings relating to the following recent Royal Commissions