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Monday, November 19, 2012

FOI leading cases by citation frequency

Those thinking (!!!) about my request for input on leading freedom of information cases might be interested in these decisions from high up in the Citation Frequency list on Austlii

Some rate highly for a number of reasons including they simply go back a long way. Some deal with aspects of the law no longer relevant because of legislative changes. 

Of course not all fit the criterion in any event: significant contribution to FOI/RTI etc jurisprudence, and in extending as far as possible the right of access to information. Some in fact might qualify for the lemon list by representing a significant setback to that objective.
Thoughts by 25 November in the form of a comment on this blog or by email to, with the case name, url if available and a short statement of the reasons for your nomination or nominations. Thanks in anticipation.

Waterford v Commonwealth [1987] HCA 25; (1987) 163 CLR 54 (24 June 1987)
(legal professional privilege)
And the earlier AAT decision in that case
Re JE Waterford and Department of Treasury (No 2) [1984] AATA 67 (14 March 1984)
Re Corrs Pavey Whiting and Byrne v Collector of Customs of Victoria and Alphapharm Pty Ltd [1987] FCA 266 (13 August 1987) 
(breach of confidence exemption)

McKinnon v Secretary, Department of Treasury [2006] HCA 45; (2006) 229 ALR 187; (2006) 80 ALJR 1549 (6 September 2006)

(public interest and issues concerning the now abolished conclusive certificates)

 B and Brisbane North Regional Health Authority [1994] QICmr 1; (1994) 1 QAR 279 (31 January 1994)

(confidentiality and personal affairs exemptions)

 Re Searle Australia Pty Ltd v Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Department of Community Services and Health [1992] FCA 241; (1992) 108 ALR 163 (1992) 36 FCR 111 (27 May 1992)

(trade secrets and business affairs exemptions)

 Director of Public Prosecutions v Smith [1991] VicRp 6; [1991] 1 VR 63 (13 December 1989)

(public interest, VCAT override, legal privilege)

 Department of Premier and Cabinet v Hulls [1999] VSCA 117 (11 August 1999)(public interest, VCAT override, secrecy provisions)

 Re Jennifer May Mcdonald Harris v Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Keith Cameron Mackriell and Michael H Cosby [1983] FCA 242; (1983) 78 FLR 236 (4 October 1983)
(internal working documents exemption)

 Re Robyn Frances Murtagh and Commissioner of Taxation [1984] AATA 249 (5 July 1984) 

(internal working documents and other exemptions)

Re Vangel Colakovski v Australian Telecommunications Corporation [1991] FCA 152; 100 ALR 111 13 Aar 261 29 FCR 429/23 ALD 1 (17 April 1991)

(personal affairs exemption)

At the National Information Law Conference in Canberra last week heads were nodding as  Sydney Barrister Andrew Bouris, in discussing public interest drew attention to the enduring wisdom contained in Eccleston and Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs [1993] QICmr 2; (1993) 1 QAR 60 (30 June 1993) and General Manager, WorkCover Authority of NSW v Law Society of NSW [2006] NSWCA 84 (24 April 2006).

And you would have to think a couple of Forgies would seriously challenge for a spot.

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