Date: 4 December 2020
Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Tribunal Member: Member Goodman
HRA Sections: s 13
Rights Considered: N/A
Other Legislation: Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld), ss 100, 104, 108, 109, 114A; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) s 230
Keywords: Health, Mental Health, Guardianship; Privacy and Confidentiality

This case concerned an application for a confidentiality order, protecting personal information that the Tribunal held pertaining to HFI. In making this confidentiality order, Member Goodman recognised that any infringement of HFI’s rights under the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) were reasonably justified in order to prevent serious harm to HFI.

This decision arose out of a review of the appointment of an administrator for HFI and an application for a confidentiality order. Member Goodman had previously provided decisions for the outcome of the review, and this decision related solely to the issuing of a confidentiality order over documents and information pertaining to HFI. A member of HFI’s family had been charged with serious criminal offences and details of their alleged criminal behaviour had been reported in the media. Some of the information contained in the Tribunal’s file, which members of the media had sought access to, referred to the circumstances in which the criminal charges arose and other information regarding personal and health matters for HFI.

Member Goodman held that a confidentiality order was appropriate on the basis that if this information was made public, it ‘would cause serious harm to HFI… and [the] release of any of her personal information which could make its way to that person would cause HFI serious harm’: at [10]. In relation to the Human Rights Act 2019, Member Goodman stated at [12]:

In making this decision, I have taken into account the provisions of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). To the extent that HFI’s human rights are limited by the making of this decision, I am satisfied that such limits are reasonably justified due to the importance of protecting HFI from serious harm. I am satisfied that there is no less restrictive and reasonably available way to achieve that purpose.

Visit the judgment: HFI  [2020] QCAT 481