Queensland Law Society

Reporting Bureau closure a concern for confidentiality

Date 13 Sep 2012
Contact Natalie Graeff, Manager Corporate Communication
Phone 07 3842 5868
Mobile 0488 433 884
Fax 07 3221 9329
Email n.graeff@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society today expressed its concern regarding the government’s announcement that production of court proceedings records will be outsourced to the private sector.

President Dr John de Groot said depending on the nature of the service agreement with the private entity, there were risks having a private company managing and controlling controversial or sensitive material.

“Of particular concern is how well transcripts of closed, confidential proceedings, such as criminal organisation hearings or hearings regarding electronic surveillance warrants, will be managed.

“The courts and government may not have the same level of assurance of confidentiality or control over transcript management as it did when transcripts were managed by a government entity.

“And from a fiscal perspective, there’s the potential issue of forward cost control with a private enterprise providing a critical public service for anyone involved in court proceedings for which there is no competition.

“We’d be interested to see what service level guarantees are in place, particularly in relation to service efficiencies and costs, to warrant this change.”