Murphy Schmidt Solicitors and Department of Justice and Attorney-General
(210083, 30 March 2007)
Section 44(1) and 44(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld) –Video and inextricably interwoven personal affairs – public interest to pursue legal remedy
The applicant sought access to a surveillance video which captured an assault against their client at a hotel. The initial decision by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (JAG) to release the video was overturned on internal review on the basis that the video was exempt under section 44(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act).
Assistant Commissioner Henry applied Stewart and Department of Transport (1993) 1 QAR 227 to find that the video contained personal affairs information relating to the applicant’s client, the offender and a potentially identifiable hotel patron under section 44(1) of the FOI Act, and was prima facie exempt from disclosure. Section 44(2) of the FOI Act did not apply as the personal affairs information was inextricably interwoven. Assistant Commissioner Henry also applied Willsford and Brisbane City Council (1996) 3 QAR 368 in relation to the public interest test under section 44(1) of the FOI Act, and set aside the internal review decision finding that the public interest considerations relating to non-disclosure did not outweigh the public interest considerations favouring release of the Video to the applicant.