Australian Criminal
Intelligence Commission

Compelled Examinations – Notices to Produce

Get informed about the law, your rights, and responsibilities

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), still also referred to as the Australian Crime Commission, conducts secretive operations and coercive investigations into serious criminal activity. It has the power to compel individuals to participate in examinations and to serve notices to produce documents and other information.

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ACIC Powers

Anderson Legal assists individuals and businesses dealing with confidential investigations conducted by the ACIC.


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ACIC Powers

Anderson Legal assists individuals and businesses dealing with confidential investigations conducted by the ACIC.

On-Demand Resources

View our growing library of articles and webinars, which are accessible no matter the time of day or night.

Free Consultation

Anderson Legal provides a free, no-obligation consultation to understand whether this firm can assist you.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Powers

Before you can decide how to manage your rights and responsibilities, you must first understand them.
This section deals with the following:
Criminal Defence Image

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Powers

Before you can decide how to manage your rights and responsibilities, you must first understand them.
This section deals with the following:
Criminal Defence Image

Coercive Hearings & Notices

Background

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), still also referred to as the Australian Crime Commission, has coercive powers to compel the production of documents or other evidence relevant to an investigation. The powers are used in circumstances where it is thought traditional police investigations or powers have been or are likely to be ineffective. Its work is protected by secrecy laws that make the unauthorised disclosure of its activities unlawful and punishable by imprisonment.

ACIC conducts operations and investigations into serious criminal activity, such as organised crime syndicates, national security threats, cybercrime operations and conspiracies to undermine government laws and systems. While it does not itself prosecute the alleged offences it investigates, it may disclose evidence it unearths to other law enforcement agencies throughout Australia.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Law enforcement agencies such as the ACIC have significant powers to compel information and evidence from individuals and corporate entities. In some instances, secrecy provisions prevent people from disclosing that they have been subject to a coercive hearing or coercive notice to produce information, except in limited circumstances such as to get advice from a lawyer.

Getting advice from an experienced lawyer can be crucial to understanding your rights and obligations. Non-compliance with valid orders to cooperate with the ACIC can render a person liable to significant penalties, including actual imprisonment.


ACIC Examinations

An examiner connected to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has the power to compel, by a summons, a person to appear before an examiner at an examination to do either or both of the following:

  • give evidence;
  • produce documents or things referred to in the summons.

Examinations are inquisitorial in nature. Examiners, or counsel assisting an examiner, may ask questions relating to the special operation or special investigation and except in very limited circumstances, it is unlawful to refuse to answer the questions truthfully even if the answer tends to incriminate you or another person. There are steps that can be taken to safeguard, to a limited extent, how incriminating answers may be used in the future.

If you have been served a notice to produce or a summons from the Australian Crime Commission, contact Anderson Legal to safeguard your legal rights and interests. With significant experience in dealing with sensitive legal issues involving secrecy provisions, Andrew Anderson has the expertise and experience to provide you advice and guidance.


ACIC Notices to Produce

Under section 21A of the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002, an ‘examiner’ connected to the Commission may issue a person with a notice requiring:

  • to attend, at a specified time and place, before an an examiner or a member of the Australian Crime Commission; and
  • to produce to that person at that time and place specific documents or things relevant to a special operation or investigation of the Australian Crime Commission.

A requirement may only be issued if the examiner considers issuing the notice to produce is “reasonable in all the circumstances”. If you are lawfully served with a notice to produce, it is an offence publishable by imprisonment to not comply with it, or to disclose anything about it to another person unless an exception applies. One example is a person may disclose the notice to produce to a lawyer in order to obtain legal advice and guidance.

Obtaining legal advice can be critical to understanding how, even when you may be compelled or coerced to produce a document or other evidence, to take steps to protect your legal rights and interests as far as possible.


Although based in Brisbane, Anderson Legal is frequently engaged to assist people caught up in criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies. If you are dealing with an investigation, examination or notice to produce by the ACIC and need advice and representation, Anderson Legal offers comprehensive criminal law services for its clients. This includes:

  • providing advice relating to notices or documents served on our clients;
  • advising clients on their legal options, including challenging compulsory notices;
  • communicating on behalf of its clients with ACIC investigators and lawyers;
  • reviewing information possibly subject to a notice to produce to ensure compliance;
  • negotiating protections and accommodations for clients facing examination before the ACIC; and,
  • representing clients in examinations before the ACIC.

This firm places an emphasis on providing clear guidance so that our clients are placed in a real position to make informed decisions about their options and their preferred path forward. Anderson Legal provides clear, transparent disclosure of its legal costs at every stage.

  • Andrew Anderson, Legal Director, is an award-winning lawyer who has been independently described by the Courier Mail as “one of the best legal minds” and a “leading corporate and white-collar crime lawyer” (16 December 2021).
  • Having successfully represented litigants in the High Court of Australia, Queensland Court of Appeal, Royal Commissions, and multiple other courts dealing with trials and other hearings, Andrew Anderson has a demonstrated record of success in complex and difficult cases.
  • Prior to operating a law firm, Andrew Anderson worked as a Principal Crown Prosecutor in Queensland and barrister in private practice at 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers in Brisbane. His depth of courtroom advocacy experience ranges from straightforward cases right through to complex homicide trials and appeals.
  • Anderson Legal is a law firm that is dedicated to the best ideals of the legal profession. Seeking to exceed client expectations and fighting for justice is an everyday pursuit.

Limitations on general information

Each legal issue is unique. The information on this page and website cannot – and is not meant to – substitute legal consultation. It is designed to outline information of a general nature if you want to learn more about examinations and notices to produce by the ACIC, particularly as it relates to anybody facing an issue of this kind in Queensland. Anybody dealing with an ACIC investigation ought to obtain expert legal advice and guidance as soon as possible.

No content accessible on the website is created to provide specific legal answers or advice. It is designed to provide general information about legal matters and related concepts. It should not be used as, or in substitute of, your own legal advice or other advice as appropriate.

To the extent allowed by law, no warranty, condition, or guarantee is provided in relation to the accuracy or reliability of any information contained on this site. Content may be changed from time to time without notice.

If you face a compelled examination or notice to produce from the ACIC, contact Anderson Legal. This firm provides expert advice and representation for people needing assistance to defend themselves against unjust accusations.

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