The Chief Examiner can give directions to protect the secrecy of an examination, or where a person attends to produce a document or thing.

Strict secrecy provisions apply to information held by the Office of Chief Examiner. The Chief Examiner and people who assist her are bound to keep information relating to an examination confidential, except in certain circumstances.

Examinations before the Chief Examiner are held ‘in private’, which means that they are not open to the general public or the media. The Chief Examiner must specifically authorise a person to be present at an examination.

At your examination, the Chief Examiner can also give a non-publication direction to limit who can receive any information about your examination.

This direction prevents you and others from disclosing, except in certain circumstances:

  • the evidence you give
  • any documents or things you produce
  • the fact that you have attended (or may be attending) an examination

It is an offence for anyone to publish or communicate information in breach of a non-publication direction given by the Chief Examiner. The offence is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

A non-publication direction does not prevent you from discussing the fact that you attended an examination with your legal representative for the purposes of getting legal advice. It also does not prevent you from making a complaint to the Victorian Inspectorate.

Safety concerns

If you have concerns for the safety of yourself or anyone connected with you, you should tell the Chief Examiner at your examination. If a legal practitioner is appearing with you, the Chief Examiner will invite your legal representative to raise those matters on your behalf.

The Chief Examiner must give a non-publication direction if failure to do so would reasonably be expected to prejudice the safety of a person.

Other steps can also be taken to protect a person’s safety, in certain circumstances.

The Chief Examiner must make a non-publication direction if failure to do so would reasonably be expected to prejudice the fair trial of a person who has been or may be charged with an offence.

If you are a party to any legal proceedings (whether criminal or civil) in a court or tribunal, you must raise this at your examination. If those proceedings relate to the evidence you give at your examination, the Chief Examiner must take steps to avoid prejudice to those proceedings.

If a legal practitioner is attending with you, they may raise these matters on your behalf.