Royal Commission

A one-off, open inquiry into a specific issue which has raised public concern, instigated by the government (technically, royally appointed by the governor) but operated independently from it. The commissioner is often a retired judge and his given terms of reference strictly limit the bounds of the investigation. Despite that, the commissioner has considerably powers, from the summoning of witnesses, the granting of indemnity, allowing evidence not normally allowed in a court of law such as hearsay or government classified documents, to forcing testimony even from officials of the government itself.