Date: 16 September 2022
Court/Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal
Judicial Officer/Tribunal Member: Senior Member Guthrie
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: ss 13 21, 25, 48
Rights Considered: Right to freedom; Right to privacy and reputation
Other Legislation: Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld) ss 11A, 11B, 12(3), 81, 103(1)(b) and (c), 105, 106(1), 114A, 119, 130; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 28, 46(2), 47
Keywords: Privacy and Confidentiality; Health, Mental Health and Guardianship; Education, Training and Employment

This case concerned an application to the Tribunal, seeking authorisation to share information about former guardianship proceedings concerning BJ with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and a News Media company. CH, an active party to the former proceedings, sought to have their identity withheld from any authorised publication. The Tribunal noted that BJ intended to present ‘an unflattering and indeed reputationally damaging’ account of the former proceedings insofar as CH was concerned, which CH would be unable to defend. The Tribunal acknowledged that, pursuant to section 48 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), statutory provisions must be interpreted in a way that is compatible with human rights. The Tribunal concluded that allowing BJ to share the information is consistent with the right to freedom of expression (section 21). Additionally, the Tribunal noted that the right to privacy (section 25) was considered related to CH’s concerns, however the authorisation to share BJ’s information was considered lawful and that if any concern arose regarding the defamation of CH, there would be appropriate legal remedies available to them. The Tribunal decided to exercise its discretion to authorise BJ to identify himself in connection with the former proceedings.

Visit the judgment: BJ [2022] QCAT 326