Today the Queensland Court of Appeal in Lee v Crime and Corruption Commission & Anor  QCA 145 dismissed a challenge to the power of the Crime and Corruption Commission to “assume responsibility” for an investigation under section 48(1)(d) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld). The appellant police officer, who was the subject of a complaint, alleged that the Commission had no power to assume responsibility for an investigation because the Commissioner of Police (or his delegate) had completed his investigation of the complaint. The Assistant Commissioner of Police had decided that there should be no disciplinary action, and instead that the complaint should be dealt with by “managerial action” (as is permitted by the Act). The Commission then attempted to “assume responsibility” for the investigation under the Act. At the time, the “managerial action” had not yet been taken by the Commissioner of Police.
The Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed the challenge because, although a decision had been made by the Assistant Police Commissioner about taking managerial action at the time that the Commission assumed responsibility, the Commissioner’s investigation had not been completed “in the sense that every potentially relevant fact or circumstance had been identified and considered”. The Court held that the notion of a public official precluding the exercise of the powers of the Commission simply by announcing his or her own decision as to how to deal with the complaint, was inconsistent with the Commission’s monitoring role.
Roger Traves appeared for the First Respondent. Scott McLeod appeared for the Second Respondent.