Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill

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Have your say on the proposed draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021.

What's being decided?

The draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021 has been tabled for consideration in Parliament to establish a new cause of action for serious invasions of privacy in South Australia. The Bill will enable an individual (the applicant) to bring civil proceedings against a person who has invaded their privacy (the respondent) in certain circumstances.

The Bill will require the applicant to prove there was a serious intrusion into their seclusion/privacy or a serious misuse of their private information. This could include:

  • physical intrusion into private space
  • watching, listening to, photographing or recording private activities
  • obtaining, disclosing or disseminating private information.

The Bill sets out the thresholds, defences and a public interest test.

We are seeking your feedback to help inform the draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021.

Background

In March 2016, the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) released a report ‘A statutory tort for invasion of privacy’. In the report SALRI concluded that the protections available in South Australia for interferences with a person’s privacy were inadequate and recommended changes to address serious invasions of privacy.

The draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021 reflects many of the recommendations made in the SALRI report.

To establish a cause of action, the applicant must establish that:

  • there was a reasonable expectation of privacy
  • the invasion of privacy was serious
  • the conduct was undertaken intentionally.

The Bill contains some limitations including:

  • an exclusion for journalists, meaning action cannot be taken against a journalist acting in accordance with relevant standards of professional conduct
  • action may only be brought by South Australian residents, or where the person was physically in South Australia when the alleged breach of privacy occurred
  • there must not be public interest in the matter that outweighs the individual’s privacy.

There are a range of defences available to a defendant. These defences are modeled on the defences available in defamation law. Please read our FAQs for more information.

Get involved

Read the:

Have your say by:

  • joining the online discussion
  • emailing your written submission to LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au
  • mail your written submission to:
    Legal and Legislative Services, Attorney-General’s Department
    GPO Box 464, Adelaide SA 5001

What are the next steps?

At the end of the consultation period, we will consider your feedback to inform the draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill. The Government will then consider the next steps to progress the Bill.

Have your say on the proposed draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021.

What's being decided?

The draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021 has been tabled for consideration in Parliament to establish a new cause of action for serious invasions of privacy in South Australia. The Bill will enable an individual (the applicant) to bring civil proceedings against a person who has invaded their privacy (the respondent) in certain circumstances.

The Bill will require the applicant to prove there was a serious intrusion into their seclusion/privacy or a serious misuse of their private information. This could include:

  • physical intrusion into private space
  • watching, listening to, photographing or recording private activities
  • obtaining, disclosing or disseminating private information.

The Bill sets out the thresholds, defences and a public interest test.

We are seeking your feedback to help inform the draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021.

Background

In March 2016, the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) released a report ‘A statutory tort for invasion of privacy’. In the report SALRI concluded that the protections available in South Australia for interferences with a person’s privacy were inadequate and recommended changes to address serious invasions of privacy.

The draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill 2021 reflects many of the recommendations made in the SALRI report.

To establish a cause of action, the applicant must establish that:

  • there was a reasonable expectation of privacy
  • the invasion of privacy was serious
  • the conduct was undertaken intentionally.

The Bill contains some limitations including:

  • an exclusion for journalists, meaning action cannot be taken against a journalist acting in accordance with relevant standards of professional conduct
  • action may only be brought by South Australian residents, or where the person was physically in South Australia when the alleged breach of privacy occurred
  • there must not be public interest in the matter that outweighs the individual’s privacy.

There are a range of defences available to a defendant. These defences are modeled on the defences available in defamation law. Please read our FAQs for more information.

Get involved

Read the:

Have your say by:

  • joining the online discussion
  • emailing your written submission to LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au
  • mail your written submission to:
    Legal and Legislative Services, Attorney-General’s Department
    GPO Box 464, Adelaide SA 5001

What are the next steps?

At the end of the consultation period, we will consider your feedback to inform the draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill. The Government will then consider the next steps to progress the Bill.

Discussions: All (1) Open (1)
  • Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) - Forum

    about 1 month ago
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    You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    We are seeking your feedback to help inform the draft Civil Liability (Serious Invasions of Privacy) Bill. Are there any situations that you think should be able to be subject to a cause of action for serious invasion of privacy?

    The Bill outlines some factors that a court might consider in determining what a countervailing public interest might be (such as freedom of expression, national security, law enforcement).

    Are there any other relevant countervailing public interest matters that we should consider? 


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Page last updated: 11 October 2021, 11:57