Part VIII--Obligations of confidence
Unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in this Part to an
obligation of confidence is a reference to an obligation of confidence:
(a) to which an agency or a Commonwealth officer is subject, however the
obligation arose; or
(b) that arises under or by virtue of the law in force in the Australian
(1) This Part applies where a person (in this Part called a
confidant) is subject to an obligation of confidence to another
person (in this Part called a confider) in respect of personal
information, whether the information relates to the confider or to a third
person, being an obligation in respect of a breach of which relief may be
obtained (whether in the exercise of a discretion or not) in legal
(2) This Part does not apply where a criminal penalty only may be imposed in
respect of the breach.
This Part does not, except to the extent that it does so expressly or by
necessary implication, limit or restrict the operation of any other law or of
any principle or rule of the common law or of equity, being a law, principle or
(a) under or by virtue of which an obligation of confidence exists; or
(b) that has the effect of restricting or prohibiting, or imposing a liability
(including a criminal liability) on a person in respect of, a disclosure or use
Where a person has acquired personal information about another person and the
first-mentioned person knows or ought reasonably to know that the person from
whom he or she acquired the information was subject to an obligation of
confidence with respect to the information, the first-mentioned person, whether
he or she is in the Australian Capital Territory or not, is subject to a like
(1) A confider may recover damages from a confidant in respect of a breach of
an obligation of confidence with respect to personal information.
(2) Subsection (1) does not limit or restrict any other right that the
confider has to relief in respect of the breach.
(3) Where an obligation of confidence exists with respect to personal
information about a person other than the confider, whether the obligation
arose under a contract or otherwise, the person to whom the information relates
has the same rights against the confidant in respect of a breach or threatened
breach of the obligation as the confider has.
(1) The jurisdiction of the courts of the Australian Capital Territory extends
to matters arising under this Part.
(2) Subsection (1) does not deprive a court of a State or of another Territory
of any jurisdiction that it has.