Price and Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Application number:
2003 F0019
Decision date:
Friday, Aug 29, 2003

Price and Department of Justice and Attorney-General
(2003 F0019, 29 August 2003) 

Sufficiency of search – legal professional privilege 

The applicant sought access to various categories of documents of the respondent relating to himself, including documents created in relation to his prior FOI access applications.  The respondent identified, in its records, reference to a file which appeared from its description to fall within the terms of the applicant's FOI access application.  However, the file could not be located. 

Applying the principles stated in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government & Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464, AC Moss was satisfied that the searches and inquiries which the respondent had conducted in an effort to locate the missing file had been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, and that there were no reasonable grounds for believing that the file still existed in the respondent's possession or under its control. 

AC Moss decided that the matter remaining in issue was exempt matter under s.43(1) of the FOI Act.  The bulk of it related to litigation involving the applicant in which Crown Law acted for the Queensland Police Service (QPS).  AC Moss was satisfied that the documents in issue comprised confidential communications between lawyer (Crown Law) and client (QPS) made for the dominant purpose of seeking or giving legal advice or professional legal assistance.