The Queensland police service has launched another attempt to block compensation to a domestic violence victim, who was forced into hiding after her details were accessed by a senior constable and leaked to her abusive former partner.
Julie* won a landmark breach of privacy case against the police in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) last month. The ruling would have entitled Julie to compensation, including for the cost of having to relocate her family, capped at $100,000.
On Friday, the state government’s legal office, Crown Law, filed an appeal against the tribunal decision, likely dragging the case through another complex hearing.
The government briefed a barrister for a hearing last year. Julie represented herself. Throughout, she has had to endure a court battle that legal experts say ran contrary to the state’s responsibility to act as a “model litigant”.
Three times during the case, Crown Law missed filing deadlines and sent submissions after they were due. The application to appeal was also submitted after the 28-day deadline.
In a judgment on 27 March, a QCAT member, Susan Gardiner, found police had breached two of the the state’s information privacy principles.
Throughout the case, police have not disputed that Julie’s privacy was breached. Instead they claimed police were not responsible for that breach.
Crown Law claims, in the application to appeal, that the tribunal erred on several grounds, including by taking into account that Julie was a domestic violence victim.