Patrick and Department of Justice and Attorney-General
(310478, 24 November 2011)
The applicant made an access application under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General for a range of information relating to the death of Ms Christina Watson in 2003 while scuba diving off the coast of Townsville and the subsequent trial of her husband, Mr David Gabriel “Gabe” Watson.
Right to Information Commissioner Mead considered whether disclosure of the information in issue would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest and decided that:
· the information in issue clearly comprised personal information of the deceased’s father and was highly sensitive in nature
· disclosure of the information in issue could reasonably be expected to cause a public interest harm because it would disclose personal information of a person, whether living or dead and this factor should be afforded significant weight in the circumstances
· disclosure of the information in issue without the consent of the relevant individual could prejudice the protection of his right to privacy and this factor should be afforded significant weight; and
On that basis, the Right to Information Commissioner decided that disclosure of the information in issue would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest under section 47(3)(b) and 49 of the RTI Act.