Official Committee Hansard




(Budget Estimates)

Question: Senator STOTT DESPOJA—Absolutely, and I am glad you raised that. In relation to another matter, obviously, there has been some debate about the case of Schapelle Corby and the government’s role in providing or offering legal assistance and/or financial assistance. I am happy for you to pursue this now, if you like, to clarify for the committee whether or not the government has offered the assistance of two QCs for the appeal. What does that involve. Is the government paying for those QCs or ringing up QCs or other legal representatives and asking them if they will help Schapelle Corby—that is, without government assistance. If you want to pursue this now I am happy to get into that issue because in response to Senator Faulkner’s questions, when you talked about the provision of basic information, consular access et cetera, I did not think we had a specific answer as to whether or not the government provided legal assistance that was paid for by the government as opposed to, as you explained, applications to the Attorney-General’s for financial assistance. What is the case in the Corby case. Are we paying for it. Have they applied for it. Who is paying for the QCs who are supposedly being offered by the Australian government.

A: Mr R Smith—As I understand it, the Corby legal team has applied for assistance under the Attorney-General’s financial assistance scheme. That application has been approved so that is where the financial support is coming from. On the issue of the QCs, again, my understanding is that the QCs in question offered their services to the Corby legal team pro bono, and the government put them in contact with the Corby legal team and left it to the two parties to follow that up. I think that falls within the facilitation role that I referred to earlier. 

QSenator STOTT DESPOJA—In relation to that facilitation role or the offer that the government made, when was that first made? When was the contact first made with the Corby legal team on that issue.

Mr R Smith—I am uncertain. Can you leave that with me and I will see if I can get an answer for you shortly. 

Senator STOTT DESPOJA—Okay. You might want to pursue the Adree case first because I suspect colleagues will have questions on Schapelle Corby.

Page. FAD&T 33
File number 3933-4.pdf
June 1st 2005