Limit Publication of Personal Information
Information Sheet GA 1
This information sheet gives you information you need to apply to limit publication of personal information.
The Tribunal may disclose personal information to the public. For example:
- The Tribunal publishes most decisions on its website
- The Tribunal publishes a hearing schedule
- Hearings are open to the public.
You may apply to the Tribunal to limit publication of personal or other information.
There is a strong public interest in “open courts”. This principle applies to tribunals. The public must be able to see that courts and tribunals act lawfully.
People also have an interest in their own privacy. When they go to court, they give up some privacy to get access to the court.
In some cases, harm to a person’s privacy interests might be more than usual. In these cases, the courts will consider limiting publication.
The person applying must meet this legal test:
Their privacy interests (or other interests) outweigh the public interest in access to the Tribunal’s proceedings.
- Describe the information you want protected
Examples:State the information, such as medical information, you don’t want published
Name the person you don’t want identified. This is called an “order to anonymize” someone. Describe the information that might reveal who they are.
- Who do you want not to publish the information?
- the Tribunal
- the other parties
- anyone, such as the media
If you want the order to apply to anyone, the legal term is a “publication ban”.
- Explain why you want the information protected.
It isn’t enough to want to remain anonymous. It isn’t enough to want to avoid embarrassment.
- Explain why the person’s interests outweigh the public interest
The Tribunal will presume a minor’s interests outweigh the public interest. A minor is someone under 19. Tell the Tribunal if the complaint involves a minor.
Otherwise, you must explain why your interests outweigh the “open court” principle.
The Tribunal will consider such things as:
- How publishing the information would affect the person’s interests
- How much the request would limit the public access to the complaint process
Excluding the public from a hearing affects public access more.
Keeping specific information private affects public access less.
A publication ban affects public access more than an order to anonymize a name.
The Tribunal may also consider the stage of the proceeding.
The public may have less interest in knowing a party’s name if it dismisses a complaint with no hearing.
The public may have more interest in knowing a party’s name after a hearing.
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
- place and date of hearing.
The public can then ask to see parts of the file. This does not include contact information. It does include:
- the complaint
- the response to complaint
- amendment forms
- notices about the hearing
- Tribunal decisions
If the parties are talking about settling the complaint, you can ask the Tribunal to delay adding the complaint to the hearing list. Contact the case manager.
For any other reason, you can apply to limit publication of information.