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VIC Is a Resignation a Legally Private Document under Australian Law?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by AP President, 11 March 2015.

  1. AP President

    AP President Active Member

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    Is it legal under Australian law to use words/statements from a persons resignation in the text 'she/he said/claimed'
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi AP President,

    A resignation letter is not confidential as of right. It must be claimed "confidential" (e.g. labelling the document confidential) and actually kept confidential (e.g. understanding between the sender and recipient that the document is only to be kept between the two and not to be disclosed to third persons otherwise legal consequences will attach).

    Even publicising your resignation letter, whilst awkward, is not illegal. However, the publication should not contain your "personal information", meaning personal identifiers such as your address, date of birth etc. as this could be in breach of the privacy act.
     
  3. AP President

    AP President Active Member

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    Tracey.
    Thank you so much for clearing that up. I think the fact that I live in a very small country town and my name was used says it all. As we run a small business people even I don't know, know me. So I think that would be breaking the privacy act.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I agree with @Tracy B .
    I would add however that in a small community,
    there is a risk of you being defamed if what you wrote is repeated ("published')
    out of context, and as a result you suffer damage to your reputation.

    Oh, and the privacy legislation is not really in play.
     
  5. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi AP President,

    I agree with Tim. If this affects your reputation in some way and the letter is excerpted/contextualised in a way that is misleading, you could consider defamation. Have a read of "Have you been defamed? What you need to know about defamation law in Australia" to see if you have an action here.

    As for the privacy act, know that privacy protection is extremely limited in Australia and often only applies as a form of regulating action of government authorities and specific business industries. Hence, the publication of your name may not be enough here. You can contact the Victorian Privacy Commissioner for further information.
     
    Tim W likes this.

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