Privacy Policy

Introduction

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) applies in respect of the Federal Court of Australia (the Federal Court) only in relation to an act done or a practice engaged in relation to the management and administration of the Federal Court’s registry and office resources. Documents, records and other material relating to court proceedings are exempt from the Privacy Act and dealt with, as required, by the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Federal Court Act) and the rules made by the Judges of the Court.

Staff of the Federal Court provide operational and administrative support to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Federal Circuit Court) in general federal law (but not family law) matters nationally under a statutory arrangement and a memorandum of understanding. Federal Court staff in Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia also provide operation and administrative support to the High Court of Australia (High Court) under a long standing arrangement. Court proceedings in the High Court and the Federal Circuit Court are also exempt from the Privacy Act and are dealt with, as required, by the Judiciary Act 1903 (Judiciary Act), High Court of Australia Act 1979 (High Court Act), Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 (Federal Circuit Court Act) as appropriate and the rules made by the Judges of the High Court and the Federal Circuit Court respectively.

In addition, staff of the Federal Court provide operational and administrative support nationally for the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) and the Native Title Registrar (NT Registrar) as well as the Australian Competition Tribunal, Copyright Tribunal of Australia and the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunals). Each of the NNTT, NT Registrar and the Tribunals operates under its and their own legislative framework but is subject to the Privacy Act. Staff of the Federal Court in Tasmania also provide operation and administrative support for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT operates under its own legislative framework but is subject to the Privacy Act

Purpose

The purpose of this privacy policy is, firstly, to communicate the personal information handling practices of the Federal Court, the NNTT, NT Registrar and the Tribunals to users of the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court in general federal law matters nationally, the High Court in Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, the NNTT, NT Registrar and the Tribunals nationally and the AAT in Tasmania, as well as those persons who deal with each of these bodies (in the relevant locations as appropriate). Second, to provide to those users and those who deal with these bodies a better and more complete understanding of the type of personal information the Federal Court, those courts and tribunals hold and how that information is handled by Federal Court staff.

Court Information

Proceedings in the Federal Court are regulated by the Federal Court Act. That Act permits the judges of the Federal Court to make rules of court not inconsistent with the Act. These rules provide for the practice and procedure to be followed in the Court and its registries, as well as matters incidental to those practices or procedures.

Documents, records and other material filed, lodged, received, created and held by the Federal Court in relation to proceedings in that Court (Federal Court documents) are dealt with having regard to section 17 and Part VAA (sections 37AA to 37AL) of the Federal Court Act and Part 2 of the Federal Court Rules 2011. Some additional restrictions to access to certain Federal Court documents are imposed in some circumstances by each of the Admiralty Rules 1988, Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 and Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Rules 2005. Other statutory restrictions can also apply in some circumstances. For example, under the Migration Act 1936 the High Court, Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court cannot publish the name of any person who has applied for a protection visa in relation to any proceeding in the court.

All acts done and practices engaged in by the Federal Court in relation to proceedings that are or have been before the Federal Court are exempt from the Privacy Act (see paragraphs 7(1)(a) and (b)). The Federal Court and its Judges, through rules of court and orders and directions made in individual proceedings from time to time, control the documents, records and other material relating to proceedings in the Federal Court. In doing so the Federal Court and its Judges are sensitive to the need to protect personal information and makes arrangements that are consistent with all legal requirements and which balance appropriately the principle of open justice and interests of individual privacy.

Each of the High Court and the Federal Circuit Court are separate and independent federal courts and each has developed, in compliance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles that that Act contains, its own privacy policy about how each court manages personal information.

Similar to the Federal Court, however:

  • in the High Court:
    • proceedings are regulated by the Judiciary Act, High Court Act and the rules of court made by the Judges of the High Court
    • documents, records and other material filed, lodged, received, created and held by the High Court are dealt with according to those Acts and those rules
    • all acts done and practices engaged in by the High Court in relation to proceedings that are or have been before that Court are exempt from the Privacy Act
  • in the Federal Circuit Court:
    • proceedings are regulated by the Federal Circuit Court Act and the rules of court made by the Judges of the Federal Circuit Court
    • documents, records and other material filed, lodged, received, created and held by the Federal Circuit Court are dealt with according to that Acts and those rules
    • all acts done and practices engaged in by the Federal Circuit Court in relation to proceedings that are or have been before that Court are exempt from the Privacy Act.

In providing operational and administrative support to the High Court in Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia and to the Federal Circuit Court in general federal law matters nationally, Federal Court staff manage personal information relating to the management and administration of the High Court in those locations and the Federal Circuit Court in those matters in accordance with the High Court’s and the Federal Circuit Court’s privacy policies respectively and the obligations imposed on it by the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

The privacy policies of the High Court and the Federal Circuit Court are available on the website of each court at www.hcourt.gov.au and www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au respectively.

Tribunal Information

Some judicial officers of the Federal Court hold appointments as either a President or a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal, the Copyright Tribunal of Australia or the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal. The Federal Court and its staff provide the operational and administrative support required by each of these Tribunals nationally. Each Tribunal operates under its own legislative framework: respectively Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Copyright Act 1968 and Defence Force Discipline Appeals Act 1955 and regulations made under these.

The Federal Court and its staff also provide operational and administrative support required by the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) and the Native Title Registrar (NT Registrar) nationally. The NNTT comprises a President and members who are appointed by the Governor-General under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (Native Title Act). The NT Registrar is also appointed by the Governor-General. The NNTT and NT Registrar have a range of roles and responsibilities under the Native Title Act and regulations made under this Act.

Each of the Tribunals, NNTT and NT Registrar are subject to the Privacy Act.

In addition, Federal Court staff in Tasmania provide operational and administrative support required by the AAT in that State. The AAT operates under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and regulations made under this Act. It has developed, in compliance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles, a privacy policy about how it manages personal information. In providing operational and administrative support to the AAT in Tasmania, Federal Court staff manage personal information in accordance with the AAT’s privacy policy and the obligations imposed on it by the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

The AAT’s privacy policy is available on the AAT’s website at www.aat.gov.au.

Privacy Act Obligations

The Federal Court is an agency for the purposes of the Privacy Act (see definition of “agency” in subsection 6(1)), although its judicial officers are not [see paragraph 6(5)(d)]). The Federal Court is bound generally by that Act and the Australian Privacy Principles. As a result the Court must manage personal information in an open and transparent way.

However the obligations of the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles relating to collection, use, disclosure, quality and storage of personal information and how individuals may access and correct personal information apply only to acts done and practices engaged in by the Federal Court relating to the management and administration of the Federal Court’s registry and office resources.

Each of the Tribunals, NNTT and NT Registrar is an agency for the purposes of the Privacy Act and bound by that Act and the Australian Privacy Principles. Each must manage personal information in an open and transparent way and comply with the Australian Privacy Principles in the collection, use, disclosure, quality and storage of personal information as well as how individuals may access and correct personal information.

Details of the obligations of the High Court, Federal Circuit Court and AAT under the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles are set out in their respective privacy policies (for information on how to locate these see Court Information and Tribunal Information above).

What is Personal Information?

In this policy “personal information” is used to mean (as it is defined in section 6 of the Privacy Act):

“information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.”

Electronic and Other Online Dealings

Websites

The Federal Court supports websites which provide information about the operations of the Court, each of the Tribunals and the NNTT and NT Registrar (combined for the latter two).

In administering these websites, Federal Court staff adhere to the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government Websites developed in March 2003 by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

Any privacy concerns about the Federal Court’s and the Tribunals’ websites should be directed to the Federal Court’s webmaster by emailing query@fedcourt.gov.au or by writing to:

Web Manager
Federal Court of Australia
Corporate Services
Locked Bag A6000
Sydney South NSW 1235

Any privacy concerns about the NNTT/NT Registrar’s website should be directed to the NNTT/NT Registrar webmaster by emailing enquiries@nntt.gov.au or writing to:

Manager Registrar’s Directorate
National Native Title Tribunal
GPO Box 9973
Perth WA 6848

Clickstream and site visit data

A record of all visits to the main pages of these websites is made and the following information is logged for statistical purposes:

  • the user's server address
  • the user's top level domain name (e.g. com., gov., au., uk., etc.)
  • the date and the time of the visit to the site
  • the type of browser used
  • the operating system
  • the screen resolutions and screen colours
  • the previous site visited
  • the search engines and queries used to access this site.

No attempt is made to identify individual users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the log file.

Cookies

A cookie is a small piece of information that is placed on the user's hard drive while navigating a website. When a user revisits a website, the cookie allows that site to recognize the user’s browser.

Google Analytics is used to obtain statistics on how the websites are used. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (Google) which uses ‘cookies’ to collect standard internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about use of the relevant website is transmitted to and stored by Google on its servers outside of Australia. Google uses this information to compile reports on website usage - such as volume of new and return visitors, which pages are the most popular and sources of website traffic. No personally identifying information about any user is recorded or provided to Google.

Users can opt out of Google Analytics if they disable or refuse the cookie, disable JavaScript or install the opt-out browser add-on available from the Google Analytics website along with details on installing and uninstalling that add-on.

Cookies are also used for form identification and for browser preferences for display of results on the eLodgment pages on the Federal Court’s website. None of these pages contain user information.

Links to other sites

The websites contain links to other sites. The Federal Court is not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other websites and encourages users to examine each site's privacy policy and make their own decisions regarding the accuracy, reliability, and correctness of material and information found.

Email and message management

The Federal Court offers two email subscription services - Daily Court Lists and Practice News. When a user subscribes to either service, the Court collects the name, email address.

The NNTT also offers two email subscription services. A Website Email Subscription List allows users to subscribe to receive updates on matters of interest, including future act decisions, Judgment alert service, future act determinations, native title determinations, other website updates, hearings list, media releases, registered ILUAs, registration tests and What’s New. Users are also able to subscribe to Native TitleVision, an online geospatial visualisation, mapping and query tool. When subscribing to either service, information will be collected on the name, email address, organisation, address and any other information the user chooses to enter.

For the management of subscription messages, the Federal Court uses third party providers and may upload to these the names and email addresses of subscribers. This information is used by those providers only on behalf of and under the instructions of the Federal Court.

The Federal Court also records user’s email addresses if a user sends the Court, NNTT, NT Registrar or the Tribunals an email message. So it, or its hosting partners, can provide any support required, the Federal Court also records email addresses provided by users of the Court’s eServices (online) websites.

Email messages may be monitored by technology services staff for system trouble-shooting and maintenance purposes.

Use and disclosure

Any information provided by users will only be used by the Federal Court, the Tribunals or the NNTT/NT Registrar for the purpose for which it was provided.

Information provided in relation to a proceeding in the Court, the Tribunals or the NNTT will be dealt with as required by legislation (principally the relevant rules of court or framework legislation) as well as any orders, directions and determinations made in those proceedings.

Many documents filed or lodged in proceedings in the Court and some proceedings in the Tribunals may be disclosed to any interested member of the public. Information contained in applications to the NNTT/NT Registrar is dealt with according to the provisions of the Native Title Act, which require that certain information be treated as confidential. Access rights generally are determined under the relevant legislation or by order, direction or determination.

Data security

The Internet is an insecure medium, and users should be aware that there are inherent risks in transmitting information across the Internet.

Information submitted unencrypted via email may be at risk of being intercepted, read or modified. Users who are concerned about the security of any email messages can post them to the relevant office of the Federal Court, Tribunal or NNTT/NT Registrar found on the Federal Court’s, the Tribunals’ or the NNTT/NT Registrar’s website or by phoning the telephone numbers found on those websites.

The Federal Court takes all reasonable steps to protect the personal information it hold against loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure in line with the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM). These steps include the storage of personal information in secure facilities, taking regular encrypted backups of personal information we hold, audit and logging mechanisms and physical access restrictions to ensure only authorised government personnel have access to personal information.

When no longer required, personal information held in relation to any online dealing will be disposed of securely or deleted in accordance with the relevant Records Authority agreed with the National Archives of Australia (National Archives) or the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA) issued by National Archives.

Search service

Search terms are stored for reporting and service improvement purposes. Users’ searches are not linked to any personally identifying information.

Privacy in the eLodgment and eCourtroom sections of the Federal Court’s website

In order to lodge case-related documents on-line or to participate in the Court’s eCourtroom, users must supply some personal information - such as their name, mailing address, phone numbers and email address. This information is only used to enable that user to eLodge documents and/or contribute to an eCourtroom discussion through the eLodgment application and will not be disclosed to any third party unless required by law.

The following information is recorded for the purpose of providing users with support if required:

  • major and specific activity under a user name, e.g. Login, Create Template, Save Incomplete Lodgement, contribute to an eCourtroom discussion, Log out etc
  • uploaded documents as part of the lodgement process and failed attempts to upload documents are logged in error logs
  • as previously noted, cookies are used for form authentication and for browser preferences for display of results, i.e. show/hide a column, resize of columns. None of these cookies contain user information
  • browser, operating system and compilers information is recorded for troubleshooting
  • email address information is only used for the purpose for which users provide it.

Security in the eLodgment section of the Federal Court’s website

The electronic filing section of the Federal Court's website (eLodgment) uses an e-commerce industry standard security communications protocol (HTTPS) with up to 256 bit encryption to ensure all data transmitted between the user’s computer and the Federal Court’s eLodgment Web Portal is secure. User payment information is then securely transmitted via the HTTPS protocol to the Court’s acquiring Bank. The Court does not store the user’s credit card details at any time during this process.

A user may, however, choose to save their credit card details to be retained by the eLodgment system within a template. If so, those details are encrypted, then stored in the eLodgment application. Security of this information is maintained in line with the Australian Government’s ISM.

Security alerts in eServices (online) pages of the Federal Court’s website

The eServices (online) pages of the Federal Court’s website have been secured for users’ privacy and protection. As a user moves about these secure areas his or her browser, depending upon personal settings and options, might present a security alert. Security alerts differ depending on browsers and their configuration but their purpose is simply to alert a user to the fact that he or she is entering, or leaving a secure area. Users should not be alarmed by the appearance of these alerts. Users can ascertain whether they are in a secure session by checking the status of the "security" padlock on their browser. The session is secure only when the padlock icon shows a closed padlock.

"Thawte Server CA" issues a certificate securing the site. Users can verify the source of the certificate by viewing it.

Alternatives to the eServices (online) pages of the Federal Court’s website

If Federal Court users do not wish to provide personal information via the eServices (online) pages of the website, documents can be filed and paid for by personal presentation, Post, DX or Fax to the Court registry.

Data quality

The Federal Court will correct any personal information that it holds about a user in relation to any online dealings on request unless there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) or other relevant law not to do so.

If a user is on one of the Federal Court’s email subscription services, that user may opt out of further contact from the Federal Court by clicking the 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of the email.

Proceedings in the Tribunals

Tribunal Responsibilities and Records

Australian Competition Tribunal

Under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Australian Competition Tribunal can, on application, review decisions of Ministers about third party access to infrastructure and similar services; grant, vary or revoke merger authorisations and review certain decisions made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

That Act, regulations made under it and Practice Directions made on behalf of the Tribunal regulate the documents and other material that must be filed in the Tribunal; confidentiality which may apply; and information which is to be recorded in an online register kept by the Tribunal on its website and on the ACCC’s website.

Copyright Tribunal of Australia

The Copyright Tribunal of Australia can, on application or by reference, inquire into the amount of royalty payable in respect of the recording of musical works; fix royalties or equitable remuneration in respect of compulsory licences; arbitrate disputes in relation to the terms of existing and proposed licensing schemes; and deal with applications for the granting of licences under the Copyright Act 1968.

That Act and the Copyright Tribunal (Procedure) Regulations 1969 regulate the documents and other material that must be filed in the Tribunal; recording of orders made by and reasons of the Tribunal; and notification of these. Otherwise, procedures and processes, including any determination of access to or confidentiality of documents and material, is in the discretion of the Tribunal.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

Under the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Act 1955, the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal can, on appeal or application, hear appeals against a conviction or prescribed acquittal by a court martial or Defence Force magistrate.

That Act and the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Regulation 1957 regulate the documents and other material that must be filed in the Tribunal; the records which, on the filing of an appeal or application, must be provided to the Tribunal by the Registrar of Military Justice; the records which, following the Tribunal making a decision in a proceeding, must then be given to the Registrar of Military Justice; and determination of confidentiality of hearings and records.

Collection

Each Tribunal collects and holds personal information in relation to applications, references and appeals made to that Tribunal and material and other records which the parties to the each proceeding files or provides or which may be provided under statutory obligation, request or summons by third parties.

Personal information in these records relates to individuals and entities involved in each particular proceeding or associated with that proceeding and include names, contact details and other relevant background. In some proceedings it can also include medical information and information about past convictions.

Hearings of each Tribunal are recorded and transcripts may be prepared if required by the Tribunal, a party, a court or (subject to any restriction imposed) an interested person.

Use and disclosure

Personal information in Tribunal records is used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was collected and as required under law for the proceeding in the Tribunal, save and except where:

  • the individual concerned consents to that use or disclosure for another purpose
  • that individual would reasonably expect that the Tribunal would use or disclose that personal information for another purpose, or
  • the use or disclosure of the personal information is required or authorised under an Australian law (including the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles) or the order, direction or determination of a court or tribunal.

Subject to confidentiality restrictions:

  • parties and their representatives generally have access to all documents and material filed or provided in a proceeding in a Tribunal
  • information about a proceeding in a Tribunal may be published in statutory registers, hearing lists and on the website of the Tribunal or another agency (for example the ACCC)
  • decisions of Tribunals and the reasons for them may be published in legal reports and services and on online legal sites (for example the Australasian Legal Information Institute)
  • an interested person may be permitted to inspect documents and material filed or provided in a proceeding. That permission will be only be given by the Tribunal after consideration of legal requirements and the need to balance appropriately the principle of open justice and interests of individual privacy.

Tribunal hearings are generally open to the public but this may be restricted in some circumstances.

Recordings of Tribunal hearings are not an official record; are retained on behalf of the relevant Tribunal by a third-party provider; and, other than in limited circumstances under an order, direction or determination for that purpose made by or on behalf of the Tribunal, are not provided to parties or any other person.

If a Tribunal decision is appealed or judicial review sought, the Tribunal is required by law to provide relevant parts of its records to the appellate or reviewing court. If a complaint is made about a Tribunal to a body such as the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australian Human Rights Commission or Australian Information Commissioner, the Tribunal may by law be required to disclose personal information and records in relation to the relevant proceeding to that body.

The Tribunals do not provide information in these records to overseas recipients other than as set out in the preceding paragraphs.

Data quality

Each Tribunal updates personal information in these records as necessary or when it is advised by individuals that their personal information has changed.

Data security

Personal information in these records is stored on paper files and password protected electronic media. The Tribunals take reasonable steps, as appropriate to the type of personal informational stored, to ensure that the records and files are protected against loss, unauthorised access, misuse, disclosure or modification and that only authorised personnel have access to these records and files on a need-to-know basis.

When no longer required, personal information in these records will be disposed of securely or deleted in accordance with a relevant Records Authority with National Archives or the AFDA.

NNTT and NT Registrar

NNTT and NT Registrar Responsibilities and Records

The NNTT and the NT Registrar each have a range of responsibilities and functions under the Native Title Act.

NNTT

The functions of the NNTT include:

  • undertaking mediation in native title proceedings, upon referral from the Federal Court
  • arbitrating objections to the expedited procedure in the future act scheme
  • mediating in relation to certain proposed future acts
  • arbitrating applications for a determination of whether a future act can be undertaken and, if so, whether any conditions will apply
  • assisting with the negotiation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) and the resolution of objections to area and alternative procedure ILUAs
  • assisting with negotiations to settle native title applications and statutory access agreement negotiations
  • providing assistance to native title representative bodies in performing their dispute resolution functions
  • reconsidering decisions of the NT Registrar not to accept a claimant application for registration
  • conducting reviews on whether there are native title rights and interests upon referral from the Court
  • conducting native title application inquiries as directed by the Court or special inquiries under Ministerial direction.

NT Registrar

The functions of the NT Registrar include:

  • assisting people at any stage of native title proceedings, including in the preparation of applications
  • assessing native title applications for registration
  • giving notice of native title applications and applications for registration of ILUAs
  • registering ILUAs that meet the registration requirements
  • maintaining the National Native Title Register (which records determinations of native title), the Register of Native Title Claims and the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements
  • conducting searches of registers and records of current or former interests in land and waters as requested by the Court or for the purposes of considering registration of a native title claimant application or any other provision of the Native Title Act
  • keeping and recording such other information as is considered appropriate and to make it available to the public.

Collection

The Native Title Act and the regulations made under it regulate the documents and material that must be lodged and provided to the NNTT and the NT Registrar.

The NNTT and NT Registrar collect and hold personal information in relation to applications, processes and functions. Documents held on behalf of the NNTT or NT Registrar which may contain personal information include:

  • copies of applications made to the Court and given to the NT Registrar as required, including any attachments
  • applications made to the NNTT or NT Registrar, including expedited procedure applications, future act determination applications and ILUA registration applications and accompanying documents
  • information supplied by third parties in relation to native title proceedings or applications, such as information relating to an objection to the registration of an ILUA
  • files maintained in relation to applications and the administration of the NNTT
  • some of the NNTT’s databases, including the Integrated Claims and Future Acts Management System, the database of Registration Decisions, Notifications and Court activity, ILUA database, Geotrack database, iSpatial database and research databases.
  • the National Native Title Register, Register of Native Title Claims and Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

Under certain circumstances the NNTT may grant exemption from application fees, such as on the grounds of financial hardship. Where such an exemption is granted, staff assisting the NNTT will record on the relevant NNTT file that valid information of financial hardship was sighted and the date. No copy or other details of the financial hardship information are retained.

Under section 98A of the Native Title Act, the NT Registrar is empowered to keep such other records and information as considered appropriate and to make these records and information available to the public. The section also sets out the considerations for when information should not be made available to the public, including where information is confidential and also having regard to the cultural and customary concerns of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Use and disclosure

Personal information in records maintained for the NNTT and NT Registrar is used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was collected and as required under law for proceedings in the Federal Court or applications made to the NNTT and NT Registrar.

The Native Title Act specifies the information which must be recorded in the National Native Title Register, Register of Native Title Claims and Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements required to be maintained by the NT Registrar for public inspection, the circumstances in which information must be removed or updated from these and the requirements for any part or parts of these to be kept confidential. All personal information that is the source of the register entries, but is not on the registers, is subject to the Privacy Act and is not disclosed.

The NT Registrar receives copies of claimant applications from the Federal Court and is required to apply the registration test to these applications. The NT Registrar publishes registration test decisions to the NNTT’s website. Confidential information and information which is of cultural or customary concern to native title claimants is edited from registration test decisions prior to the decisions being published.

ILUAs are commercial documents. Some information from them must be included in the public notification of applications to register an ILUA which is required to be given under the Native Title Act and, if registered, in the information which is required under that Act to be entered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

NNTT hearings are public unless the NNTT is satisfied that there are special circumstances, or if held during the course of a native title application inquiry. The presiding member has powers to direct that hearings be held in private and may prohibit the disclosure of evidence.

Where a party to a future act proceeding provides personal information and requests the information be treated as confidential, the NNTT has powers to direct hearings be held in private and to prohibit the disclosure of evidence.

Documents lodged in support of a future act inquiry may contain personal information. Where an exhibit is given as evidence in an inquiry, it may be intended to remain that party’s property. In such circumstances the exhibit will not become a Commonwealth record and may be returned to the party to whom it belongs after any appeal period has lapsed. If the NNTT member directs that a copy of the exhibit be made for the NNTT file, the Privacy Act will apply to the copy taken.

Mediation conferences conducted by the NNTT are held in private. The person conducting the mediation may direct that only one or some of the parties to an application may attend, and be represented, at a conference. The Native Title Act also empowers the person conducting the mediation to exclude parties or their representatives from a conference. The person conducting the mediation may, with the consent of the parties at a conference, direct that other persons be permitted to attend as observers in a conference or participate in it. The person conducting the conference may also direct a party to produce a document if the person considers the document is in the possession, custody or control of the party and the production of the document may assist the parties to reach agreement.

NNTT Members conducting a review of whether there are native title rights and interests may prohibit the disclosure of information given, or statements made, in the course of the review, or of documents produced in the course of the review.

Research reports have previously been prepared by Australian Public Service staff assisting the NT Registrar. The reports were generally produced for two purposes: to assist with the mediation of applications and assistance to parties, or representative bodies in the preparation of applications. The disclosure of these reports, in whole or in part, may be subject to the Privacy Act and/or specific directions made by the NNTT under section 94L or the former section 136F of the Native Title Act.

Data quality

In general, the NNTT and NT Registrar update personal information in these records as necessary or when advised by individuals that their personal information has changed.

There are certain exceptions, such as the information which is contained in the registers maintained by the NT Registrar, which must be maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Native Title Act, and information contained in applications referred by the Court so the NT Registrar can conduct the NT Registrar’s registration and notification functions.

Data security

Personal information is stored by the NNTT and NT Registrar in paper files and password protected electronic databases. Staff assisting the NNTT and NT Registrar take reasonable steps, as appropriate to the type of personal information stored, to ensure that records and files are protected against loss, unauthorised access, misuse, disclosure or modification and that only authorised persons have access to these records on a need-to-know basis.

When no longer required, personal information in these records will be disposed of securely or deleted in accordance with a relevant Records Authority with National Archives or the AFDA.

Administrative Records and Files

The Federal Court holds and manages administrative records and files containing information (including personal information) about former and current judges, statutory office holders, employees, contractors, account holders and others necessary for the management and administration of the Federal Court and the support of the Tribunals and the performance of the statutory functions of the NNTT and the NT Registrar. These include personnel; payroll; recruitment; finance; security; health and public safety; technology services; and other corporate services records, as well as those relating to compliance with statutory and other legal requirements and the development and implementation of policy, practices, procedures and systems.

Purpose

The purpose of the Federal Court’s administrative records and files is to enable it to have ready access to the information needed to carry out its management and administrative responsibilities as a federal court, an Australian Public Service agency and to support the Tribunals and the NNTT/NT Registrar, including statutory responsibilities under the Federal Court Act, Native Title Act, Public Service Act 1999, FOI Act, Privacy Act, Ombudsman Act 1976 and financial law.

Collection

Generally personal information in these records and files is collected directly from the individual concerned or someone authorised by that individual to provide that information. Otherwise it is collected with the knowledge or consent of that individual or as required or authorised under an Australian law (including the Privacy Act, e.g. a reasonable action to prevent a serious threat to public safety) or the order, direction or determination of a court or tribunal.

It is collected and held for the proper management and administration of the Federal Court and to enable it to fulfil its functions and responsibilities as relevant under the Privacy Act, including for the support of the Tribunals and the NNTT/NT Registrar.

In most permanent locations occupied or used by the Federal Court, as a security measure, there is installed Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) which records images of people in the precincts of courtrooms, the registry and, in some situations, adjacent areas. Prominent signage in each location where CCTV is installed warns building users of CCTV use. CCTV images may contain personal information if the identify of any person shown is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained.

Use and disclosure

Personal information in these records and files is used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was collected unless:

  • the individual consents to the use or disclosure for another purpose
  • that individual would reasonably expect that the Court would use or disclose that personal information for another purpose and there is a need-to-know, or
  • the use or disclosure of the personal information is required or authorised under an Australian law (including the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles) or the order, direction or determination of a court or tribunal.

The Federal Court does not provide information in these records to overseas recipients other than as set out in the preceding paragraph.

Data quality

The Federal Court updates personal information in these records and files as necessary or when it is advised by individuals that their personal information has changed.

Data security

Personal information in these records and files is stored on paper files and password protected electronic media. The Federal Court takes reasonable steps, as appropriate to the type of personal informational stored, to ensure that the records and files are protected against loss, unauthorised access, misuse, disclosure or modification and that only authorised personnel have access to these records and files on a need-to-know basis.

When no longer required, personal information in these records and files will be disposed of securely or deleted in accordance with the AFDA.

Access and correction

If an individual requests access to the personal information that the Federal Court holds about them in relation to the management and administration of the Federal Court’s registry and office resources, a proceeding in the Tribunals or the exercise of the NNTT’s or the NT Registrar’s statutory functions or requests that the Federal Court change any such personal information, the Federal Court will allow access or make the changes unless there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act, FOI Act or other relevant law to withhold the information, or not make the changes.

If the Federal Court does not agree to provide access to that personal information or to amend or annotate the information it holds about that individual, the individual may seek a review of that decision or may appeal it under the FOI Act.

If the Federal Court does not agree to make requested changes to that personal information, the individual may make a statement about the requested changes and the Federal Court will attach this to the record.

Access to documents and information in proceedings in the Federal Court and changes to any such documents (including orders and judgments) and information is regulated by the Federal Court of Australia Act and rules of the Court (see Court Information above).

Individuals can obtain further information about how to request access or changes to information the Federal Court holds about them by contacting the Federal Court (see Contact Details below).

Complaints

An individual can complain about the way the Federal Court has handled personal information in relation to the management and administration of the Federal Court’s registry and office resources, a proceeding in the Tribunals or the exercise of the NNTT’s or the NT Registrar’s statutory functions, or any breach by the Federal Court of the Australian Privacy Principles, by writing to the Federal Court’s Privacy Officer by email or letter at any of the addresses below.

Any complaint will be acknowledged by email or letter promptly (usually within 7 days of the complaint being received) and responded to as quickly as possible (usually within 30 days).

If a complainant is not satisfied with the way in which his or her complaint is handled a review by a more senior officer in the Federal Court can be requested or the complaint may be taken to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Contact Details

Details of how to contact the relevant District Registries and Offices of the Federal Court, the Tribunals and the NNTT/NT Registrar in person and by phone, fax post and email (including, as available, through the National Relay Service for persons with a hearing or speech impairment) are on the websites of the Court, the Tribunals and the NNTT/NT Registrar.

Individuals can obtain further information in relation to this privacy policy and its operation, or provide any comments, by contacting:

For the Federal Court and the Tribunals:

Telephone
(02) 9230 8567 (Hours: 8.30am - 5pm - Mon-Fri)

Facsimile
(02) 9230 8824

Email
query@fedcourt.gov.au

Post
Locked Bag A6000
Sydney South NSW 1235

Document Exchange
DX 613 SYDNEY

Hearing or speech impairment
Persons with a hearing or speech impairment, can contact the Court through the National Relay Service:

TTY users:
Phone 133 677
then ask for the Principal Registry on (02) 9230 8567

Speak and Listen users:
Phone 1300 555 727
then ask for the Principal Registry on (02) 9230 8567

Internet relay user:
Connect to the NRS (www.relayservice.gov.au)
and then ask for the Principal Registry on (02) 9230 8567.

Or for the NNTT/NT Registrar:

Telephone
(08) 9425 1000 (Hours: 8.30am - 5pm - Mon-Fri)

Freecall: 1800 640 501
Freecalls can be made for a local call cost from standard fixed-line services in Australia, but calls from mobile and pay phones may incur higher charges.

Facsimile
(08) 9425 1193

Email
enquiries@nntt.gov.au

Post
GPO Box 9973
Perth WA 6848

Last Updated 31 March 2014