The MoU Inquiry
On 21 March 1996 the CJC resolved to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the creation and execution of a Memorandum of Understanding which had been signed by
- the Honourable Robert Borbidge MLA, then Leader of the Opposition
- the Honourable Theo Russell Cooper MLA, then Coalition Spokesman for Police, Corrective Services and Racing, and
- Sergeant Gary Wilkinson, the President of the Queensland Police Union of Employees.
In recognition of the perception that the CJC may be seen as having a vested interest in the subject matter of the investigation, it engaged the services of an independent qualified person, namely, the Honourable Kenneth Carruthers QC.
The hearing of evidence commenced on 22 April 1996 and concluded on 2 September 1996. The inquiry took evidence over 49 days, 41 witnesses were called and 416 exhibits were tendered.
The Shooters' Inquiry
On 16 May 1996 the CJC resolved to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding any agreement between the Australian Labor Party and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia which may have been a breach of the bribery provisions of the Electoral Act 1992 (the Shooters' Inquiry).
The hearings commenced on 5 August 1996 and concluded on 3 September 1996. The inquiry took evidence over 11 days. 20 witnesses were called and 92 exhibits were tendered.
On 29 October 1996 Mr Carruthers publicly announced his intention to resign without completing and presenting his report. Subsequently, he did tender his resignation. As a result, the CJC decided to brief Senior Counsel to advise the CJC whether any report should be made by the Chairperson pursuant to section 33(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1989 in respect of any person as a result of the investigation conducted by Mr Carruthers QC.
In early November 1996 the CJC briefed Mr R W Gotterson QC and Mr B J Butler SC to advise on the matter. They were briefed with, inter alia, copies of:
a) the transcript of the public hearings including both the evidence of witnesses and submissions
b) all of the exhibits tendered during the course of the public hearings, and
c) all written submissions made on behalf of parties represented at the public hearings.
The CJC was advised by joint memorandum dated 6 December 1996 in relation to the issues of possible criminal conduct or official misconduct arising from the MOU Inquiry. The CJC was advised by joint memorandum dated 18 December 1996 in relation to the issue of possible misconduct arising from the MOU Inquiry.
In relation to the Shooters' Inquiry, the CJC was furnished with a joint memorandum of advice dated 13 December 1996. Consequently the brief of advice was not completed until 18 December 1996 when the last instalment was furnished.