Privacy

Privacy Statement - Magistrates' Court of Victoria

This statement outlines the procedures followed with regard to the collection, management and disclosure of information held by the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (the Court) under the provisions of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (the Act), the Victorian Information Privacy Principles (IPP’s) and all other relevant legislation which relate to or confer jurisdiction on the Court.

Management of information is a core function within the activities of the Court. Protecting privacy and personal information alongside the proper administration of the business of the Court, forms the basis of the way we create, organise and implement our activities and is intrinsic to the administration of justice and confidence in the Court.

The Court has implemented technology and security policies, rules and measures to protect the personal information that we have under our control from unauthorised access, improper use, alteration, unlawful or accidental destruction and accidental loss. We will remove personal information from our systems where it is no longer relevant to the business of the Court unless otherwise required by legislation, regulations or rules.

Exemption – Section 10 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

The Court is generally exempt from the requirements of the Act and the IPP’s.

Nothing in the Act applies to the Court in respect of collection, holding, management, use, disclosure or transfer of personal information which relate to the judicial or quasi-judicial functions of a magistrate, judicial registrar or any registrar of the Court.

In addition, nothing in the Act applies to any registry or office of the Court and the staff of that registry or office, with respect to collection, holding, management, use, disclosure or transfer of personal information which relate to or support the judicial or quasi-judicial function of the Court.

The exemption does not apply to administrative activities undertaken by court staff which do not relate to or support the Court’s judicial or quasi-judicial function.

Examples of administrative activities include but are not limited to the Court’s human resources and recruitment functions. (E.g. the Court must comply with the Act and IPP’s when recruiting to fill a vacancy and managing the personal information of staff).

Our privacy policy and procedures comply with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Access to the Register

The Principal Registrar maintains and has custody of the Magistrates’ Court register. Access to the register is governed by section 18 of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989.

Access by Parties

Parties to a proceeding may physically inspect the part of the register which relates to their proceeding.

Access by Non-Parties

Non-parties may, subject to the existence of a suppression order, physically inspect the part of the register which contains the final order of the Court in that proceeding.

Generally speaking, information contained within the register will not be provided or transmitted to any person, agency or organisation by telephone, email, mail or by any other means unless required or authorised by legislation, regulations or rules. Law enforcement agencies, other courts and tribunals and relevant state and commonwealth government agencies and departments may be provided with information contained in the register where required and/or authorised.

These access provisions apply to all proceedings in the Court.

Access to Court Files

Access to court files will not be provided in any circumstances unless so ordered by a magistrate. A party seeking access to information or documentation held on a court file must file a formal application with the registrar at the proper venue of the Court. A magistrate in open court determines this application.

Case Listings

Any person may search information on the Court’s website regarding the listing of pending criminal and civil proceedings. Information maintained for this purpose is deleted at the expiry of the hearing date to which the data relates and is not available for retrospective search. Information held and displayed within the case listing module is not visible to and cannot be located using internet search tools.

Management of Non-exempt Information

The Act establishes the IPPs, which guide the Court in the collection and handling of personal information, where the exemption under section 10 of the Act does not apply, as follows:

Principle 1 – Collection

The Court will only collect personal information where it is necessary for one or more of its functions.

Principle 2 – Use & Disclosure

The Court will not disclose personal information unless by consent, except in circumstances where disclosure is required or authorised by legislation, regulations or rules.

Principle 3 – Data Quality

The Court will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the personal information it collects is complete, accurate and current.

Principle 4 – Data Security

The Court will take all reasonable steps to protect personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

Principle 5 – Openness

This Privacy Statement will be made available to any person on request and is published on the Court’s website.

Principle 6 – Access and Correction

The Court acknowledges a person’s right to seek access to personal information held by the Court and to seek reasonable corrections to that information if necessary.

Principle 7 – Unique Identifiers

A unique identifier is usually a number assigned to an individual in order to identify the person for the purpose of an organisation’s operations. The Court will only assign a unique identifier when it is necessary to enable it to effectively carry out a relevant business function.

Principle 8 – Anonymity

The Court gives individuals the option of not identifying themselves when entering into a transaction if such an option is lawful, reasonable and feasible in the circumstances.

Principle 9 – Transborder Data Flows

Personal information will only be transferred out of Victoria if the recipient protects privacy under standards similar to the Victorian IPPs or the person gives consent.

Principle 10 – Sensitive Information

The Court does not collect sensitive information without consent, except where collection is required or authorised by legislation, regulations or rules.

Email

The Court may record an email address in the following circumstances:

  • an email is sent to the Court requesting information or assistance, to provide feedback or for another purpose
  • a lawyer is registered as the legal representative for a party in a proceeding
  • a person is registered to receive updates on a matter via case tracking

An email address will only be used for the purpose for which it is provided and will not be added to a mailing list. The Court will not use an email address for any other purpose or disclose it, without consent, other than as specifically provided for in privacy legislation.

Website and webspaces

The court may collect personal information through its website or webspaces, such as:

    • Your name, email address, telephone number, IP address and other contact information
    • The content of any online application, enquiry, submission, complaint or electronic communication that you send us
    • Any registration information you provide to access any of the Court’s online services

The Court will not use or disclose any personal information that it collects through its website or webspaces, unless that use or disclosure is required or authorised by legislation, regulations or rules.

Information provided by another party

When personal information is provided to the Court by another party (e.g. a legal representative), the Court relies upon them to take reasonable steps to ensure that the person, to whom the information is about, is aware:

    • That such information will or has been provided to the Court
    •  How the person can access his or her information
    • The purpose for which the information was provided to the Court
    • To whom the Court may disclose information of this kind
    • Any law that requires the information to be collected by the Court
    • The main consequences (if any) for the individual if all or part of the information is not provided to the Court
Cookies

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The default settings of a browser may allow some or all cookies, but users can easily take steps to erase cookies from their hard-drive, block all cookies, or receive a warning before a cookie is stored. However, some parts of the site may not function fully for users that disallow cookies.

Links to external websites

The privacy policy does not extend beyond the Court’s website. When linking to other sites from our website, we recommend that you read the privacy statement of that site to familiarise yourself with its privacy principles.