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 23L   Exceptions  


Subject to subsections (2) and (4), if a requirement imposed on an investigating official by this Part is expressed as being subject to this section, the requirement does not apply if, and for so long as, the official believes on reasonable grounds that:

(a) compliance with the requirement is likely to result in:

(i) an accomplice of the person taking steps to avoid apprehension; or

(ii) the concealment, fabrication or destruction of evidence or the intimidation of a witness; or

(b) if the requirement relates to the deferral of questioning - the questioning is so urgent, having regard to the safety of other people, that it should not be delayed by compliance with that requirement.


If the requirement relates to things done by or in relation to a legal practitioner, subsection (1) only applies:

(a) in exceptional circumstances; and

(b) if:

(i) an officer of a police force of the rank of Superintendent or higher; or

(ii) the holder of an office prescribed for the purposes of this section, other than an office in a police force;
has authorised the application of subsection (1) and has made a record of the investigating official's grounds for belief.


If the application of subsection (1) is so authorised:

(a) the record of the investigating official's grounds for belief must be made as soon as practicable; and

(b) the investigating official must comply with the requirement as soon as possible after subsection (1) ceases to apply.


If the application of subsection (1) results in:

(a) preventing or delaying the person from communicating with a legal practitioner of his or her choice; or

(b) preventing or delaying a legal practitioner of the person's choice from attending at any questioning;

the investigating official must offer the services of another legal practitioner and, if the person accepts, make the necessary arrangements.

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