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The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

Accessing information for use in legal proceedings

A person may be required by law to appear in a court or produce relevant documents or items to the court. People can also request that a government body produce relevant information to a court. This can happen in the following ways:

Subpoena

A subpoena is a District and Supreme Court document that says someone must appear in court or give certain documents to the court at the request of another person.

If you are served with a subpoena, there are grounds to object to the document or item being produced to the court. These include:

  • the information is not relevant to the court proceedings
  • the document is classified as legal professional privilege
  • it would be against the state or public interest.

If you do not want a document or item produced in court, the judge will decide if it is allowed.

Summons

A summons is a Magistrates Court document that instructs a person to give evidence or produce a document. If you are involved in proceedings in a Magistrates Court, you can have a summons issued to make a government body produce relevant documents.

If you are served with a summons, there are grounds to object to the document or item being produced to the court. These include:

  • the information is not relevant to court proceedings
  • the document is classified as legal professional privileged
  • it would be against the state or public interest.

Section 134A of the Evidence Act 1977

If you are involved in civil proceedings, under section 134A of the Evidence Act 1977 you can apply to a government body for them to produce documents that are in their possession and are relevant to an issue in the proceedings for you to inspect.

Notice of Non-Party Disclosure

If you are involved in civil proceedings, you may issue a Notice of Non-Party Disclosure to someone who is not involved in the proceedings. This includes government agencies. They must then produce specific documents that are in their control. The documents must also be documents they would have to produce at trial.

The other party may refuse to disclose the documents for reasons such as:

  • the information is not relevant to court proceedings
  • the document is classified as privileged
  • expense and inconvenience.

If they object, the judge will decide if they should produce the documents or items.

Last updated
17 September 2014
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