The Crime and Corruption Commission prepared a report about an investigation into allegations of corrupt conduct against Mr Carne. The report did not contain any findings of “corrupt conduct” against Mr Carne. The report was prepared for the purposes of submitting it to the Commission’s supervising parliamentary committee and was, in due course, submitted to that committee by the Commission.
After the Commission submitted the report to the parliamentary committee, Mr Carne challenged the Commission’s power to prepare it.
In the Supreme Court of Queensland, Davis J held that the report was protected by parliamentary privilege and that Mr Carne’s proceeding infringed parliamentary privilege.
Mr Carne appealed to the Court of Appeal. McMurdo and Mullins JJA (Freeburn J dissenting) held that although the report had been submitted to the parliamentary committee, it was beyond the Commission’s power to report and was so not protected by parliamentary privilege.
The Commission appealed to the High Court of Australia on two grounds: first, that the report was protected by parliamentary privilege and so could not be impeached in the Court of Appeal; and second, that the Commission had the statutory power to prepare the report about a corruption investigation.
The appeal in the High Court of Australia was heard on 6 and 7 June 2023. On 13 September 2023, the High Court of Australia delivered its judgment, dismissing the Commission’s appeal.
The judgment is published here.