Part IC - Investigation of Commonwealth offences  

Division 3 - Obligations of investigating officials  


These obligations apply in relation to protected suspects as well as to people under arrest.

SECTION 23K   Persons under 18  

Subject to section 23L , if an investigating official:

(a) interviews a person as a suspect (whether under arrest or not) for a Commonwealth offence, and believes on reasonable grounds that the person is under 18; or

(b) believes on reasonable grounds that a person who is under arrest or a protected suspec is under 18;

the official must not question the person unless an interview friend is present while the person is being questioned and, before the start of the questioning, the official has allowed the person to communicate with the interview friend in circumstances in which, as far as practicable, the communication will not be overheard.

An interview friend may be excluded from the questioning if he or she unreasonably interferes with it.


In this section:

interview friend
, in relation to a person to whom subsection (1) applies, means:

(a) a parent or guardian of the person or a legal practitioner acting for the person; or

(b) if none of the previously mentioned persons is available - a relative or friend of the person who is acceptable to the person; or

(c) if the person is an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander and none of the previously mentioned persons is available - a person who is a representative of an Aboriginal legal assistance organisation in the State or Territory in which the person is located; or

(d) if no person covered by paragraph (a), (b) or (c) is available - an independent person.

The rights conferred by this section are in addition to those conferred by section 23G but, so far as compliance with this section results in compliance with section 23G , the requirements of section 23G are satisfied.

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