Contents


BC Human Rights Tribunal

Application to Limit Publication of Personal Information

Information Sheet GA 1

Personal information may be disclosed during different parts of the complaint process:

  • When a complaint is on the hearing list, some parts of the complaint file are available to the public (except contact information)
  • Tribunal hearings are conducted in public
  • Information may be included in a published decision (including decisions made before a hearing, such as an application to dismiss the complaint)

You may apply to the Tribunal to limit disclosure of personal or other information using a General Application.

  1. Conditions for limiting publication of personal or other information

For the Tribunal to limit publication or disclosure, you must show:

A person’s privacy interests (or other interest) outweigh the public interest in access to the Tribunal’s proceedings.

  1. Information to include in application

    1. Describe the information you want protected.

      For example: State the information (such as medical information) you do not want published.

      Name the person that you want to remain anonymous and describe the information that might reveal their identity (such as naming other persons or locations)

    2. Explain why you want the information protected.

      It is not enough for a person to want to remain anonymous or to avoid embarrassment.  The Tribunal will consider such things as:
      • safety concerns
      • the impact on a person beyond the usual loss of privacy

        For example, potential damage to reputation where no facts have yet been proven, and where the allegations could have a serious and lasting effect on a party’s reputation (especially where the party’s job involves a position of trust)

      If you are concerned about retaliation, you must explain why these concerns are not adequately addressed by the prohibition on retaliation under the Human Rights Code.

    3. Explain why the person’s interests outweigh the public interest.

      If you are applying for an order that a minor remain anonymous, the Tribunal will presume that the child’s interest in privacy outweighs the public interest in access to the Tribunal’s proceeding

      Otherwise, you must explain why the person’s interest in privacy outweighs the public interest in access to the Tribunal’s proceedings.

      The Tribunal will consider such information as:
      • the impact of disclosure on the person’s interests
      • the extent to which your request limits access to the Tribunal’s proceedings

        For example, excluding the public from a hearing limits public access much more than keeping limited information or evidence private

      • the stage of the proceeding

        For example, the public may have less interest in knowing the identity of the parties at an early stage of the process or if a complaint is not accepted for filing or is dismissed without a hearing

  2. Requests regarding the hearing list
The Tribunal publishes a list of hearings coming up in the next 90 days. This list includes the parties’ names, case number, area(s) and ground(s) of discrimination, and place and date of hearing.

When a complaint is on the hearing list, the public may access the following parts of the complaint file (except the participants’ contact information): complaint form, response to complaint form, amendment forms, Tribunal notices regarding the hearing, and preliminary decisions.

If the parties are involved in settlement discussions after a hearing is scheduled, you may notify the case manager, by phone or in writing, to request that the Tribunal delay adding the complaint to the hearing list for this reason.

If you do not want information published on the hearing list for any other reason, or if you want to limit public access to the complaint file when a complaint is on the hearing list, you must apply to limit disclosure of personal information. What you need to show and the information you need to provide in an application is set out above.

  1. What you must show to exclude the public from a hearing

For the Tribunal to exclude the public from a hearing, you must show:

The interest advanced by excluding the public outweighs the public interest in access to the hearing or part of the hearing.

Note: The public interest in access to Tribunal hearings is strong. You must say whether you want the public excluded from the entire hearing or whether you want only certain evidence to be heard in private.