Coroners will get more powers to compel witnesses to give potentially self-incriminating evidence at an inquest, under new laws passed by the Queensland Parliament.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said that the laws aim to unlock long-standing unresolved cases.
Mr Hinchliffe said that appropriate safeguards are included in the Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019, which amends the Coroners Act 2003 (Qld).
“The coroner may not require a person to give evidence that may incriminate them unless satisfied it is in the public interest”, he said.
“Further, evidence given is not admissible against a person in any criminal proceeding, with the exception of perjury.”
Source: Media Release, The Honourable Yvette D’Ath Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, dated 20 May 2020.