The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes

The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes is investigating unsolved suspected hate crime deaths of LGBTIQ people (or people who were presumed to be LGBTIQ) in NSW between 1970 and 2010.

The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes was established by Letters Patent dated 19 April 2022, appointing Justice John Sackar as Commissioner. The Terms of Reference require the Commissioner to inquire into and report to the Governor by 30 June 2023 on:

  • the manner and cause of death in all cases that remain unsolved from the 88 deaths or suspected deaths of men potentially motivated by gay hate bias that were considered by the New South Wales Police Force as part of its Strike Force “Parrabell”;
  • the manner and cause of death in all unsolved suspected hate crime deaths in New South Wales that occurred between 1970 and 2010 where:
    • the victim was a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community; and
    • the death was the subject of a previous investigation by the NSW Police Force.

In conducting the Inquiry, the Commissioner is to have regard to:

  • The findings of previous inquiries and reports, including:
    • the interim and final report and findings of the inquiries conducted by the Standing Committee on Social Issues into gay and transgender hate crimes between 1970 and 2010;
    • the report and findings of the Strike Force “Parrabell”; and
    • The AIDS Council of New South Wales report, “In Pursuit of Truth and Justice” (2018).

In conducting the inquiry, the Commissioner is:

  • to establish such arrangements as the Commissioner considers appropriate for evidence and information, including the testimony of witnesses in current and previous inquiries, to be shared with the inquiry in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication and minimises trauma to witnesses;
  • to operate in a way that avoids prejudice to criminal investigations, any current or future criminal prosecutions, and any other contemporaneous inquiries; and
  • is not required to inquire, or to continue to inquire, into a particular matter to the extent that the Commissioner is satisfied that the matter has been or will be sufficiently and appropriately dealt with by another inquiry or investigation or a criminal or civil proceeding.

The Special Commission’s full terms of reference can be found here.

This webpage provides information about the work of the Special Commission and how you can make contact. The page will be updated as the work of the Special Commission progresses.