Court and tribunal information: access, disclosure and publication

Terms of reference

Pursuant to section 10 of the Law Reform Commission Act 1967, the NSW Law Reform Commission is to review and report on the operation of:

  1. legislative prohibitions on the disclosure or publication of NSW court and tribunal information,
  2. NSW court suppression and non-publication orders, and tribunal orders restricting disclosure of information, and
  3. access to information in NSW courts and tribunals.

In particular, the Commission is to consider:

a) Any NSW legislation that affects access to, and disclosure and publication of, court and tribunal information, including:

b) Whether the current arrangements strike the right balance between the proper administration of justice, the rights of victims and witnesses, privacy, confidentiality, public safety, the right to a fair trial, national security, commercial/business interests, and the public interest in open justice. 

c) The effectiveness of current enforcement provisions in achieving the right balance, including appeal rights.

d) The appropriateness of legislative provisions prohibiting the identification of children and young people involved in civil and criminal proceedings, including prohibitions on the identification of adults convicted of offences committed as children and on the identification of deceased children associated with criminal proceedings.

e) Whether, and to what extent, suppression and non-publication orders can remain effective in the digital environment, and whether there are any appropriate alternatives.

f) The impact of any information access regime on the operation of NSW courts and tribunals.

g) Whether, and to what extent, technology can be used to facilitate access to court and tribunal information.

h) The findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse regarding the public interest in exposing child sexual abuse offending.

i) Comparable legal and practical arrangements elsewhere in Australia and overseas.

j) Any other relevant matters.