Keast and Department of Health
Keast and South Burnett District Health Service (Department of Health)
(2003 F0570, 3 February 2004)
Legal professional privilege
The applicant sought access to documents concerning requests by the respondent for legal advice and responses provided by the Legal and Administrative Law Unit (LALU) of Queensland Health. Assistant Commissioner Moss decided that the matter in issue was exempt matter under s.43(1) of the FOI Act because it comprised confidential communications between lawyer and client made for the dominant purpose of obtaining or giving legal advice or professional legal assistance.
AC Moss was satisfied that the LALU officers who provided legal advice to the respondent were appropriately qualified and employed as legal officers by Queensland Health, and that there was a professional relationship of solicitor and client between the officers of LALU and the respondent which secured to the legal advice an independent character. AC Moss considered and dismissed the applicant's various arguments regarding why the matter in issue could not attract legal professional privilege, including the improper purpose and waiver exceptions.