Inquiry into Responses to Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria
The Committee is inviting written submissions from all interested parties for the Inquiry into responses to historical forced adoptions in Victoria. The Committee encourages people with experiences and knowledge on this important matter to make a submission.
To assist with your submission, please see the guidelines for Making a Written Submission to a Parliamentary Committee and refer to the information below on Parliamentary privilege Parliamentary Privilege201.96 KB. Further, given the sensitive nature of the inquiry, support can be provided upon request to people as they prepare their submission.
The submission closing date is Monday 3 February 2020. The Committee’s final report will be tabled at the end of 2020.
Ways to make a submission:
1. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Using the eSubmissions form
3. Hardcopy; send to:
The Committee Manager
Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee
Parliament House, Spring Street
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
If you have any questions about the inquiry, please contact the committee secretariat.
All submissions should include:
• Your full name
• Contact details (either a postal address or phone number)
• The text of your submission or an attachment containing your submission
• A clear indication if you are seeking confidentiality
All submissions are public documents (and may be published on the Committee’s website) unless confidentiality is requested and granted by the Committee. Please note that submissions will be published on this page as they are processed by the Committee. Your name will be published with your submission, but your contact details will be removed.
The following additional information has been prepared to provide stakeholders with some guidance around how Parliamentary privilege will apply to the Inquiry into responses to historical forced adoptions in Victoria.
Please click on the link to download a PDF version of the information below.
A submission to a Committee becomes a Committee document once it formally decides to accept it as a submission. A Committee may decide not to accept a submission as evidence if it is not relevant to the Inquiry Terms of Reference, or is offensive.
Once the Committee has authorised the release of a submission, any subsequent publication of it by the Committee is protected by parliamentary privilege. This means that what you say in your submission cannot be used in court against you.
Parliamentary privilege only extends to submissions that are published by the Committee. If a submission is published in another form or for another purpose, that publication will not be protected by parliamentary privilege. This means that you should not reproduce the submission in another format or context. You can, however, refer others to your submission on the Committee's website, or advise them to contact the Committee directly.
It is against parliamentary rules for anyone to try to stop you from making a submission by threats or intimidation. It is also a breach of these rules for anyone to harass or discriminate against you because you have made a submission, and Parliament can take action against this behaviour.
Types of submissions
Any person or organisation can make a submission to the Inquiry. In conducting this Inquiry, the Committee is examining systemic problems and failures in this area, rather than conducting forensic investigations into individual cases.
In reviewing submissions, the Committee will work to ensure:
- the protection of individuals, including by accepting submissions confidentially/withholding the name of the submitter where requested and not publishing private records of individuals; and
- he protection of third parties, including through right of reply processes or the removal of some names, dates and places from submissions or evidence.
There are three types of submissions for this Inquiry, outlined below. In your submission, please indicate clearly if you are requesting confidentiality or for your name to be withheld.
(1) Public submissions
The name of the individual or organisation who made the submission will be published on the Committee’s website and may be quoted in the Committee’s report to the Parliament.
(2) Confidential submissions
The Committee may accept a submission on a confidential basis when confidentiality is requested. You may request confidentiality if you believe giving evidence may have an adverse effect on you or your family.
Confidential submissions will be used to inform Committee deliberations but will not be published or quoted in a report of the Committee.
(3) Name withheld submissions
Due to the sensitive nature of this Inquiry, the Committee will consider withholding the name of the individual or organisation who made the submission if revealing their identity would increase their vulnerability or cause distress.
It may apply to people making submissions who would like the content of their submission to be made available publicly, but who do not want their identity known or who may suffer detrimental treatment from third parties because of the evidence they provide.
For name withheld submissions that contain adverse reflections on individuals, the Committee may remove the individual's personal details. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The purpose of this is to offer protection to third parties from anonymous allegations.
Right of reply
The Committee seeks to ensure that the power of Parliamentary privilege is not misused in its inquiry.
The Committee may provide an opportunity for a right of reply to any affected person or organisation who is the subject of an adverse reflection in evidence to the Committee.
- The Committee will consider all requests for a right of reply when a person or organisation considers they are the subject of an adverse reflection in evidence to the Committee.
- Depending on the circumstances, the Committee may accept a right of reply by written submission or through an appearance at a Committee hearing, whereby the Committee may also question the person or organisation seeking the right of reply.
- Publication of any written submissions will be considered on a case by case basis.