Disability Royal Commission
Preparing to appear in the Royal Commission
The counsel acting for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Disability Royal Commission) has issued letters to the major services requiring documents to be produced relating to incidents of violence, neglect and abuse of people with disabilities in their care. Service providers can expect the following next steps:
- Royal Commission legal team will review the documents.
- In due course a notice will be given to Chief Executives and Board members requiring them to appear before the Commission.
All disability organisations should seek independent legal advice in respect of:
- Advising Boards in relation to the strategy in responses to calls for documents;
- Preparing CEOs and executives to give evidence in respect of a call for documents; and
- Representing disability organisations before the Commission.
Responding to a request from the Disability Royal Commission
The Royal commission has broad powers to call for documents, and when a request is made there may be limited time to respond. As documents must generally be produced in an electronic form, all organisations will need to begin preparing to put all documents into electronic form – particularly records relating to any incidents that may have occurred or the management of a matter that has been subject to a complaint or investigation.
There can be no excuse for a failure to produce documents when a request has been made.
It can be anticipated that lawyers acting for the Disability Royal Commission will examine each file. If there are obvious omissions, further calls will be made and the fact that further calls are made will adversely affect an organisation.
Failing to respond to a call for documents is a serious matter which may ultimately result in losing NDIA registration.
Representation before the Disability Royal Commission
An organisation should anticipate that there could be some 4-8 weeks in preparation for appearing to give evidence before the Royal Commission. Barristers and solicitors must be fully briefed in respect of any relevant matter, particularly those which may be subject to a call for documents.
The team at JFM Law has the expertise and experience required to guide disability service providers involved in the Disability Royal Commission. It is important that service providers seek to engage a legal team as soon as possible in order to ensure adequate preparation and the avoidance of difficulties once proceedings commence. To get in contact, simply fill out the form below or call us on 02 9331 0266.