Case Note 209125 [2009] NZPrivCmr 9 : Parole Board subject to requests for personal information

A prisoner complained that he had made two requests to the Parole Board (‘the Board’) for copies of his file but had not received a response. Under principle 6 of the Privacy Act, an individual is entitled to have access to personal information that is held by an agency. However, the definition of agency’ in section 2 of the Privacy Act does not include a court or tribunal, in relation to their judicial functions.Normally, the judicial functions of the Board would be exempt from the Privacy Act. It is a body empowered under statute to exercise judicial functions such as the ability to conduct hearings and receive evidence. Its decisions have a substantial effect on parties before it, and can be appealed. Under current law, therefore, the Board would usually be classified as a ‘tribunal’ and would not have to comply with the Privacy Act.However, section 108 of the Parole…

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