Main Content Anchor

How am I protected in a private session?

A private session is a way to share your story in a confidential meeting with a commissioner from the Disability Royal Commission.

Private sessions can be face-to-face, by telephone or by video conferencing. In the session, you can share your story in any way you like.

If you share your story in a private session, you will get extra legal protections. These protections come from the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth).

Legal protections

If you have a private session, you will get the following legal protections:

  1. No information or document you give in, or for, a private session can be used as evidence against you in any civil or criminal case in any court.

    There is no penalty, but the court will not allow the information or document to be used against you in any court case.
  2. No one can:
    • bribe you
    • try to make you lie
    • try to stop you from giving a document for a private session.
    If someone bribes you or tries to make you lie or tries to stop you from giving a document, they could go to jail for up to 5 years.
  3. No one can stop you from:
    • attending a private session
    • giving documents for a private session.
    If someone stops you from attending a private session or giving documents or information, they could go to jail for up to 1 year.
  4. No one can cause you any:
    • hurt
    • punishment
    • damage
    • loss or
    • disadvantage
    because of any information you give in a private session, or because you attend a private session.

    If someone causes you any hurt, punishment, damage, loss or disadvantage, they could be fined up to $1000 or go to jail for up to 1 year.
  5. At work, no one can:
    • – dismiss you from your job or
    • – prejudice you in your job
    because of any information you give in a private session, or because you attend a private session.

    If someone dismisses or prejudices you, they could be fined up to $1000 or go to jail for 1 year.

    Note: This does not apply if you were dismissed or disadvantaged for some reason other than being part of a private session.
  6. No one can record, use or share any information you give during, or for, a private session without your consent.

    If someone records, uses or shares your information, they could be fined $2000 or go to jail for up to 1 year.

How do these legal protections and penalties work?

You get these legal protections if you take part in a private session.

But, the penalties are not automatic.

If you, or someone you know, has been hurt or disadvantaged because you or they have attended a private session, you can choose whether to report it. Your Story can discuss your options with you.

I have more questions

Call us on 1800 77 1800 for legal advice.

Your Story Disability Legal Support is free, independent and separate from the Disability Royal Commission. We will not pass your information to the Disability Royal Commission unless you agree. We also won't tell anybody what you tell us, unless you want us to.

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a general guide. It should not be relied on as legal advice and we recommend you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.

Contact us

Call 1800 77 1800 or visit www.yourstorydisabilitylegal.org.au