Patrick Gunning of King & Wood Mallesons writes:
A recent decision by Federal Court of Australia illustrated two things about privacy complaints – or at least those that end up before the courts:
- complainants often pursue their claims for many years, displaying a kind of endurance that many litigants do not possess; and
- the task facing an administrative decision maker is demanding – an attack on a decision maker’s treatment of one comparatively minor aspect of a long list of alleged contraventions can bring the entire decision unstuck.
The background to the case, as described by Gunnings:
The complainant in this case was Dr Megumi Ogawa. Dr Ogawa has a PhD in law and has had a long, and some may say colourful, interaction with the Australian courts in the last decade – see for example here and here.
In 2006 she had been charged with certain criminal offences. Late in 2008 she was granted bail on condition that she regularly visited a psychiatrist and implemented the treatment recommended by the psychiatrist. Dr Ogawa also undertook to authorise the consulting psychiatrist to notify the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) of any failures to comply with the relevant bail conditions. Dr Ogawa gave such written authority to Dr Calvird, a psychiatrist practising at the Toowong Private Hospital in Queensland.
Find out what happened next and why the Commissioner’s decision was overturned on Lexology.