Sections 47(3)(a) and 48 of the RTI Act provide that access may be refused to a document to the extent that it comprises ‘exempt information’. Schedule 3 sets out the types of information which the Parliament has considered to be 'exempt information' because its disclosure would, on balance, be contrary to public interest.
Information will be exempt information if it would be privileged from disclosure in a legal proceeding on the basis of legal professional privilege (LPP). The doctrine of LPP is both a rule of evidence and a common law right, distinct from freedom of information legislation. It is necessary to consider LPP at common law to determine whether this exemption is satisfied.
Schedule 3, section 7 of the RTI Act replicates section 43(1) of the repealed FOI Act with no substantive alterations.
Other relevant RTI/IP Act sections
Section 100 RTI Act
The Information Commissioner is entitled to full access to documents relevant to an external review, including documents that may be subject to LPP.
Last updated: October 16, 2013