This is Section 19 of the ASIC Act:
Notice requiring appearance for examination
(1) This section applies where ASIC, on reasonable grounds, suspects or believes that a person can give information relevant to a matter that it is investigating, or is to investigate, under Division 1.
(2) ASIC may, by written notice in the prescribed form given to the person, require the person:
(a) to give to ASIC all reasonable assistance in connection with the investigation; and
(b) to appear before a specified member or staff member for examination on oath and to answer questions.
Note: Failure to comply with a requirement made under this subsection is an offence (see section 63).
(3) A notice given under subsection (2) must:
(a) state the general nature of the matter referred to in subsection (1); and
(b) set out the effect of subsection 23(1) and section 68.
Note that this is not based on a court order. Note that there is no right to silence or right to non self incrimination. And note also that failure to assist ASIC is an offence.
Yes. Spartacus does know that this is Australia and that there is no Bill of Rights here. But that is the point.
See for example ASIC’s latest media announcement of 14.41 (AEST) on 6 September 2018 where a Former company director convicted for failing to assist ASIC.
The verbatim words within ASIC’s media announcement follow:
ASIC has coercive powers under the ASIC Act to allow it to perform or exercise its functions and powers, including the service of Notices on persons to attend examinations.
Failing to comply with a Notice is a criminal offence under s.63 of the ASIC Act and carries a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units or imprisonment for two years, or both.
For those who claim ASIC does not have the powers necessary to deal with financial services misconduct, they are kidding themselves. Whether ASIC should have those powers is a completely different matter. What further powers does ASIC require? Enhanced interrogation?
Citizens should always remember that no one should be trusted with this kind of power. And nobody who seeks this kind of power should be trusted with any power at all. It seems however ASIC only uses such powers when there is a legal resources asymmetry well favouring ASIC.