Kinder and Barristers' Board of Queensland
(1998 S0093, 31 March 2000)
This review concerned the application of s.11(l)(f) of the FOI Act. The applicant applied to the respondent for access to documents relating to the complaint he had made to the respondent concerning the conduct of a barrister. (The respondent had investigated the complaint and recommended that no further action be taken against the barrister.)
The Information Commissioner found that the respondent is an 'office of a court' within the terms of s.11(1)(f) of the FOI Act. The Information Commissioner considered that those words not only covered individual office holders, but also extended to offices constituted by a number of persons, such as the respondent. The Information Commissioner was satisfied that the respondent was established under the Barristers' Admission Rules in order to assist the Supreme Court in certain functions. It had properly assumed the role of investigator to assist the Supreme Court in assessing whether it would be appropriate to bring alleged professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct to the attention of the Supreme Court.
The Information Commissioner therefore found that the documents to which the applicant sought access were received or brought into existence by the respondent in the performance of its functions, which related to the judicial functions of the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the Information Commissioner found that those documents were excluded from the application of the FOI Act by the operation of s.11(1)(f) of the FOI Act.