Overview of Section 42(1)(h) FOI Act

Section summary

Matter is exempt if there is a reasonably based expectation that its disclosure could prejudice a system or procedure for the protection of persons, property or environment. This exemption is subject to section 42(2) of the FOI Act.


Section 42(1)(h) of the FOI Act recognises the greater public interest to avoid prejudice to systems or procedures which protect persons, property or environment.

The provision is most commonly relied upon in relation to systems or procedures established by law enforcement agencies and applications for Justices Examination Orders (JEOs) under the Mental Health Act 2000 (Qld) (MH Act 2000).

Other relevant FOI Act sections

Section 42 FOI Act
Section 42(1) of the FOI Act contains other exemptions for matter relating to law enforcement or public safety. Section 42(2) of the FOI Act excludes certain matter from being exempt under section 42(1) of the FOI Act. Matter is not exempt if:

  • it consists of any of the specific types of matter listed in section 42(2)(a) of the FOI Act; and
  • its disclosure would, on balance, be in the public interest.

Last updated: March 1, 2012