Queensland Consolidated Acts

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LEGAL AID QUEENSLAND ACT 1997 - SECT 82

Secrecy

82 Secrecy

(1) This section applies to a person who is or was—
(a) a Legal Aid employee under this Act; or
(b) a commissioner, officer of the commission, or member of a legal aid committee, review committee or consultative committee under the former Act; or
(c) a member of the board; or
(d) a law student who is allowed by Legal Aid to participate in providing legal assistance under this Act; or
(e) a person who is not a Legal Aid employee and who is approved by Legal Aid to assist in performing Legal Aid’s functions; or
(f) a person appointed under a review mechanism established under section 21 to review decisions made by Legal Aid about legal assistance; or
(g) a person approved by Legal Aid to access information and documents held by Legal Aid for the purpose of conducting research.
(2) A person to whom this section applies (the
"first person" ) must not, directly or indirectly, other than for this Act or in a proceeding under this Act—
(a) give a person, make a record of, or use information acquired about a person’s affairs by the first person under this Act or the former Act; or
(b) give a person a document acquired about someone else’s affairs under this Act or the former Act.
Penalty—
Maximum penalty—50 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.
(3) In a court proceeding under this Act, the first person is not required to—
(a) give the court a document about someone else’s affairs of which the first person has custody, or to which the first person has access, under this Act or the former Act; or
(b) give the court information about someone else’s affairs obtained by the first person under this Act or the former Act.
(4) Subsection (3) does not apply if the court considers it necessary in the interests of justice that the document or information be given.
(5) Subsection (2) does not prevent a person mentioned in subsection (1) (a) to (c) from giving a document or information to the following—
(a) an entity that has functions under a relevant law, within the meaning of the Legal Profession Act 2007 , to hear and decide charges or complaints of professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct (however expressed) made against a person under the relevant law;
(b) an entity, other than an entity mentioned in paragraph (a) , that has functions under the Legal Profession Act 2007 for the purpose of that entity performing a function or exercising a power under that Act, including, for example, the Queensland Law Society Incorporated, the Bar Association of Queensland, the Legal Services Commissioner or the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board;
(c) a conferencing chairperson under part 2 , division 4 ;
(d) under guidelines decided by Legal Aid—a person to whom the document or information is required to be given under a lawfully issued search warrant;
(e) with the board’s consent—another entity to whom Legal Aid considers it is in the public interest that the document or information be given;
(f) if the document or information is about the affairs of a legally assisted person
(i) an entity to which the legally assisted person has, in writing, directed the document or information to be given; or
(ii) an entity to which the legally assisted person has, in writing, consented to the document or information being given.
(6) Also, subsection (2) does not prevent a person mentioned in subsection (1) (d) to (g) from giving a document or information to a person or entity mentioned in subsection (5) (a) to (f) at the direction, or with the authority, of a Legal Aid employee.
(7) Legal Aid may impose the conditions, if any, it considers appropriate on the giving of a document or information under subsection (5) or (6) .
(8) Without limiting subsection (7) , Legal Aid may impose conditions restricting the use that may be made of the document or information given to protect the anonymity of a legally assisted person, or person who has applied for legal assistance, to whom the document or information relates.
(9) A person to whom a document or information is given under subsection (5) or (6) must comply with any condition imposed under subsection (7) .
Penalty—
Maximum penalty—50 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.
(10) This section does not affect a law or rule of practice or procedure about the discovery of documents in a proceeding for which legal assistance is given to a person under this Act.



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