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Section 173 Corporations Act 2001
Right to Inspect and Get Copies

Section 173 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) is ‘Right to Inspect and Get Copies’ and is extracted below.

If you require the services of a criminal defence team that specialises in corporate crime and compliance, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a consultation.

Our criminal defence lawyers are vastly experienced in advising and representing corporations and individuals who are facing investigations for regulatory issues and proceedings for criminal offences, and our expertise in serious and complex cases means you can rest assured of receiving the most effective legal representation whatever your situation may involve.

The Legislation

Section 173 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) is Right to Inspect and Get Copies and reads as follows:

Right to Inspect and Get Copies

Right to inspect

(1)  A company or registered scheme must allow anyone to inspect a register kept under this Chapter. If the register is not kept on a computer, the person inspects the register itself. If the register is kept on a computer, the person inspects the register by computer.

Note:    Other provisions that are relevant to the inspection of registers are:

       section 1300 (place and times for inspection)

       section 1301 (the location of documents that are kept on computers)

       section 1306 (form and evidentiary value).

Inspection fees

(2)  A member of a company or a registered scheme, a registered option holder or a registered debenture holder may inspect a register kept under this Chapter without charge. Other people may inspect the register only on payment of any fee (up to the prescribed amount) required by the company or scheme.

Right to get copies

(3)  The company or scheme must give a person a copy of the register (or a part of the register) within 7 days if the person:

(a)  makes an application to the company or registered scheme in accordance with subsection (3A); and

(b)  pays any fee (up to the prescribed amount) required by the company or scheme.

ASIC may allow a longer period to comply with the request. If the register is kept on a computer, the company or registered scheme must give the copy to the person in the prescribed form.

(3A)  An application is in accordance with this subsection if:

(a)  the application states each purpose for which the person is accessing the copy; and

(b)  none of those purposes is a prescribed purpose; and

(c)  the application is in the prescribed form.

Note:          Sections 137.1 and 137.2 of the Criminal Code create offences for providing false or misleading information or documents.

(4)  A person has the same rights to inspect, and obtain copies of, the documents kept under subsection 170(3) as the person has in respect of the register of option holders itself.

(5)  The company is not required under subsection (1) or (3) to allow a person to see, or to give a person a copy that contains, share certificate numbers.

ASIC power in relation to register of debenture holders

(6)  ASIC may exempt a company from complying with subsections (1) and (3) in relation to information in a register of debenture holders about debentures that are not convertible into shares or options over unissued shares.

(7)  The exemption:

(a)  must be in writing; and

(b)  may be general or limited; and

(c)  may be subject to conditions specified in the exemption.

(8)  ASIC must publish a copy of the exemption in the Gazette .

(9)  A person must not contravene a condition of the exemption.

(9A)  An offence based on subsection (1), (3) or (9) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

(10)  On application by ASIC, the Court may order a person who contravenes a condition of the exemption to comply with the condition.


The penalties

The maximum penalty for the offence of breaching the Right to Inspect and Get Copies is:

3 months imprisonment and/or 10 penalty units (a Commonwealth penalty unit is currently $210).

However, it should be kept in mind that maximum penalties are reserved for the most serious cases.

Your legal team will be able to advise you of the essential elements the prosecution would need to prove in order to establish the offence, whether those elements are capable of being established in your particular situation, the most effective and efficient way forward and the likely outcome.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.

However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex criminal matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Our criminal law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.

Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.

However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the criminal law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.

We can assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.

For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today.

Call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our criminal law specialists.

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