ACT Government announces Board of Inquiry


Following a number of complaints and allegations related to the trial R v Lehrmann, the ACT Government will establish a Board of Inquiry to ensure that the Territory’s framework for progressing criminal investigations and prosecutions is robust, fair and respects the rights of those involved.

The Board of Inquiry will consider whether the functions of the various criminal justice entities involved in the matter were discharged with appropriate rigour, impartiality, and independence. Specific elements will include:

the engagement between the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and ACT Policing regarding the prospect of charges being laid, the decision to proceed to trial and the decision not to proceed to a retrial;

aspects of the conduct of police investigators and the DPP;

whether the support provided by the Victims of Crime Commissioner to the complainant aligned with the relevant statutory framework; and

the legal framework in the ACT for addressing juror misconduct.

The Inquiry will be able to hold hearings, both public and private, issue search warrants, compel the production of documents, and compel the attendance of witnesses and take their evidence on oath.

ACT Policing, the DPP and Victims of Crime Commissioner have all indicated their intention to cooperate with the Inquiry.

The ACT Government is currently identifying an eminent legal expert to conduct the Inquiry. 

The ACT Government will determine the terms of reference and key timeframes will be finalised in consultation with that expert next month.

It is expected that the Inquiry will report to the Chief Minister in the first half of 2023.

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