Dotcom v Crown Law Office – Human Rights Review Tribunal

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Dotcom v Crown Law Office

Short summary of facts

[1] In July 2015 Mr Dotcom sent an information privacy request to all 28 Ministers of the Crown and nearly every government department (the agencies). The 52 requests were in near identical terms and requested all personal information held about Kim Dotcom including information held under his previous names. The requests advised that because the information was required for “pending legal action”, urgency was sought. It is common ground that the litigation referred to included (inter alia) an extradition eligibility hearing in the District Court then due to commence on 21 September 2015.

[2] Nearly all the requests were transferred by the agencies to the Attorney-General.

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[3] On 5 August 2015 the Solicitor-General provided a response on behalf of the Attorney-General in which the requests were declined on the stated ground that, in terms of the Privacy Act 1993 (PA), s 29(1)(j) the requests were vexatious and included information which was trivial. The Solicitor-General also advised that insufficient reasons for urgency had been provided.

[4] The primary issue before the Tribunal is whether Mr Dotcom has established there has been a consequent interference with his privacy as defined in PA, s 66 and in particular:

[4.1] Whether the transfer of the requests to the Attorney-General was permitted by the transfer provisions in PA, s 39; and if it was

[4.2] Whether, in terms of PA, s 66(2)(b), there was no proper basis for the decline decision.

[5] In this decision we explain our reasons for finding the transfers were not permitted by the Privacy Act and that in any event, there was no proper basis for the decline decision.

Full Decision (pdf file)

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