Dear Federal Court of Australia,

The following is written in an article by Kylar Loussikian and Jill Rowbotham in the Australian (Untried lawyers score key positions) –

1. A candidate, a legal case manager, was “offered a position as national registrar in September 2018 – over other experienced candidates – months before he completed his College of Law legal training course.” The relevant National Registrar was “admitted in February 2019.”

2. One of the essential selection criteria provided that to “undertake this role, the successful candidate must have … litigation and case management experience in superior courts of Australia.”

3. That same legal case manager had only graduated from university in 2017 according to Andrea Jarratt, the director of national operations.

4. That same legal case manager would “not be undertaking … delegated judicial work until he is admitted to practice."

5. That same legal case manager was admitted to the Supreme Court of a State or Territory the Friday in the week before 13 February 2019.

Under the FOI Act, I would like any documents which show that the national registrar was entitled to practise by virtue of some law of a State or Territory or the Commonwealth (e.g. Judiciary Act 1903, s 55), or had a practising certificate, before being employed in September 2018 as a national registrar.

Yours faithfully,

Stork

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Stork

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Stork

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

Stork left an annotation ()

My IC review request, which was submitted on 29 April 2022:

I would like the Information Commissioner to consider the correspondence provided by B Henderson of the Federal Court.

The documents relating to this IC review request set out here:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/u...

On 18 March 2022 B Henderson claimed that she had come across documents "that contain personal information about individuals." She went on to claim that it "appears that the individuals concerned might reasonably wish to contend that that the documents are conditionally exempt under section 47F of the FOI Act and [that] access to the documents would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest under the FOI Act."

B Henderson then stated that "[i]n accordance with subsection 27A(3) of the FOI Act, the Federal Court of Australia (Court) must give those individuals a 'reasonable opportunity to make submissions in support of the exemption contention' before making a decision on the release of the documents that contain personal information about the individuals."

B Henderson concluded that "the Court has determined that the requirements of section 27A of the FOI Act make it appropriate to extend the period of for processing your request by a further period of 30 days in accordance with subsection 15(6) of the FOI Act."

On 29 April 2022 B Henderson provided an update stating that "[u]pon further analysis and consideration of the documents and your FOI request, it became apparent that there were in fact no documents that fell within the scope of your request. This has only recently become apparent."

Now B Henderson claims that there are in fact no documents to grant access to: see correspondence at https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/u...

B Henderson is conceding that the reliance they placed on subsection 27A(3) to extend time was without lawful basis. It is difficult to imagine how such a thing could occur unless it was concocted to deliberately abuse the processes available under the FOI Act to extract more time than 30 days to provide a response. Justice Jagot criticised these kinds of contrivances in her decision in Dreyfus and Attorney-General (Commonwealth of Australia) (Freedom of information) [2015] AATA 995.

In my view, the extension of time was not lawfully claimed and is, accordingly, void. Therefore the decision was due on 7 April 2022. In the alternative, please accept this as a complaint under s 70 of the FOI Act.

Federal Court of Australia

 
 
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Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

Our reference: MR22/00669

 

By email: [FOI #8571 email]

Receipt of your IC review application  

Thank you for your application for Information Commissioner Review (IC
review).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is
considering your application.

If you wish to advise the OAIC of any changes to your circumstances,
including your contact details or if your FOI request has been resolved,
please write to [email address] and quote MR22/00669.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

 

 

show quoted sections

OAIC - FOI DR,

5 Attachments

Our reference: MR22/00669

Agency reference: N/A

Mr Matthew Stork
By email: [1][FOI #8571 email]

Dear Mr Stork

Thank you for your application for review. We have today informed the
Federal Court of Australia that the Information Commissioner will
undertake an IC review and requested information to assist with
progressing the review.

We will provide you with an update when we have heard from the Federal
Court of Australia.

 

Kind regards

Jennifer Zhou

 

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Commissioner

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Dear OAIC - FOI DR,

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Stork

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