Case Note 207201 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 18: Family Court most appropriate forum to deal with allegation of inappropriate disclosure

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A lawyer for the child was appointed for the purposes of a Family Court matter concerning a man and his former partner. By coincidence the lawyer was also appointed lawyer for the child in separate Family Court proceedings involving the man’s girlfriend. The man considered that the lawyer had disclosed his personal information to his girlfriend’s former partner and his lawyer during the other Family Court proceedings. The man had complained about these actions to the Judges presiding over his Family Court case on two occasions. Principle 11 Principle 11 of the Privacy Act requires that an agency that holds personal information shall not disclose the information to a person or body or agency unless the agency believes on reasonable grounds that one of the exceptions contained within principle 11 applies. Although the complaint raised issues of disclosure of personal information, it also clearly concerned matters before the Family Court.