ROYAL COMMISSIONS ACT 1902 – SECT 16
Evidence of issue of Commission etc.
(1) In all legal proceedings the production:
(a) of a document purporting to be Letters Patent in the name of the King, and purporting to be signed by the Governor-General and to be sealed with the seal of the Commonwealth, and purporting to be directed to any person or persons and to appoint the person or persons to be a Commissioner or Commissioners to make inquiry into any matter, or to authorise or require the person or persons to make inquiry into any matter
EVIDENCE ACT 1995 – SECT 150
Seals and signatures
(1) If the imprint of a seal appears on a document and purports to be the imprint of:
(a) a Royal Great Seal; or
(b) the Great Seal of Australia; or
(c) another seal of the Commonwealth; or
(d) a seal of a State, a Territory or a foreign country; or
(e) the seal of a body (including a court or a tribunal), or a body corporate, established by a law of the Commonwealth, a Territory or a foreign country; or
(f) the seal of a court or tribunal established by a law of a State;
it is presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that the imprint is the imprint of that seal, and the document was duly sealed as it purports to have been sealed.
The Great Seal
The Governor-General’s Letters Patent issued in 1900 provided for a Great Seal for use by the Governor-General. Its purpose is to authenticate certain official documents. The Great Seal of Australia is used by the Secretariat to seal official documents in accordance with the terms of the Royal Warrant issued by The Queen to the Governor-General on 19 October 1973.
The Great Seal of Australia is affixed to commissions of appointment of Governors-General, Administrators, Judges, Officers of the Defence Force, Ambassadors and Consuls. The Great Seal is also applied to documents such as proclamations, administrative arrangements orders, orders under section 4 of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911, orders under section 19 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and letters patent. It is circular in shape and approximately seven centimetres in diameter – documents requiring the Great Seal should be printed on parchment and prepared so as to allow sufficient space for it to be affixed.
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