Access to Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1)

Act current to 2016-05-12 and last amended on 2016-04-05. Previous Versions

Review by the Federal Court

Marginal note:Review by Federal Court

 Any person who has been refused access to a record requested under this Act or a part thereof may, if a complaint has been made to the Information Commissioner in respect of the refusal, apply to the Court for a review of the matter within forty-five days after the time the results of an investigation of the complaint by the Information Commissioner are reported to the complainant under subsection 37(2) or within such further time as the Court may, either before or after the expiration of those forty-five days, fix or allow.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “41”.
Marginal note:Information Commissioner may apply or appear
  •  (1) The Information Commissioner may

    • (a) apply to the Court, within the time limits prescribed by section 41, for a review of any refusal to disclose a record requested under this Act or a part thereof in respect of which an investigation has been carried out by the Information Commissioner, if the Commissioner has the consent of the person who requested access to the record;

    • (b) appear before the Court on behalf of any person who has applied for a review under section 41; or

    • (c) with leave of the Court, appear as a party to any review applied for under section 41 or 44.

  • Marginal note:Applicant may appear as party

    (2) Where the Information Commissioner makes an application under paragraph (1)(a) for a review of a refusal to disclose a record requested under this Act or a part thereof, the person who requested access to the record may appear as a party to the review.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “42”.
Marginal note:Notice to third parties
  •  (1) The head of a government institution who has refused to give access to a record requested under this Act or a part thereof shall forthwith on being given notice of any application made under section 41 or 42 give written notice of the application to any third party that the head of the institution has notified under subsection 27(1) in respect of the request or would have notified under that subsection if the head of the institution had intended to disclose the record or part thereof.

  • Marginal note:Third party may appear as party

    (2) Any third party that has been given notice of an application for a review under subsection (1) may appear as a party to the review.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 43;
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 144(F).
Marginal note:Third party may apply for a review
  •  (1) Any third party to whom the head of a government institution is required under paragraph 28(1)(b) or subsection 29(1) to give a notice of a decision to disclose a record or a part thereof under this Act may, within twenty days after the notice is given, apply to the Court for a review of the matter.

  • Marginal note:Notice to person who requested record

    (2) The head of a government institution who has given notice under paragraph 28(1)(b) or subsection 29(1) that a record requested under this Act or a part thereof will be disclosed shall forthwith on being given notice of an application made under subsection (1) in respect of the disclosure give written notice of the application to the person who requested access to the record.

  • Marginal note:Person who requested access may appear as party

    (3) Any person who has been given notice of an application for a review under subsection (2) may appear as a party to the review.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 44;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 45(F).
Marginal note:Hearing in summary way

 An application made under section 41, 42 or 44 shall be heard and determined in a summary way in accordance with any special rules made in respect of such applications pursuant to section 46 of the Federal Courts Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 45;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 182.
Marginal note:Access to records

 Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament or any privilege under the law of evidence, the Court may, in the course of any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 44, examine any record to which this Act applies that is under the control of a government institution, and no such record may be withheld from the Court on any grounds.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “46”.
Marginal note:Court to take precautions against disclosing
  •  (1) In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 44, the Court shall take every reasonable precaution, including, when appropriate, receiving representations ex parte and conducting hearings in camera, to avoid the disclosure by the Court or any person of

    • (a) any information or other material on the basis of which the head of a government institution would be authorized to refuse to disclose a part of a record requested under this Act; or

    • (b) any information as to whether a record exists where the head of a government institution, in refusing to disclose the record under this Act, does not indicate whether it exists.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of offence authorized

    (2) The Court may disclose to the appropriate authority information relating to the commission of an offence against a law of Canada or a province by a director, an officer or an employee of a government institution if, in the Court’s opinion, there is evidence of such an offence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 47;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 154.
Marginal note:Burden of proof

 In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41 or 42, the burden of establishing that the head of a government institution is authorized to refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act or a part thereof shall be on the government institution concerned.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “48”.
Marginal note:Order of Court where no authorization to refuse disclosure found

 Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose a record requested under this Act or a part thereof on the basis of a provision of this Act not referred to in section 50, the Court shall, if it determines that the head of the institution is not authorized to refuse to disclose the record or part thereof, order the head of the institution to disclose the record or part thereof, subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, to the person who requested access to the record, or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “49”.
Marginal note:Order of Court where reasonable grounds of injury not found

 Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose a record requested under this Act or a part thereof on the basis of section 14 or 15 or paragraph 16(1)(c) or (d) or 18(d), the Court shall, if it determines that the head of the institution did not have reasonable grounds on which to refuse to disclose the record or part thereof, order the head of the institution to disclose the record or part thereof, subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, to the person who requested access to the record, or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “50”.
Marginal note:Order of Court not to disclose record

 Where the Court determines, after considering an application under section 44, that the head of a government institution is required to refuse to disclose a record or part of a record, the Court shall order the head of the institution not to disclose the record or part thereof or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “51”.
Marginal note:Applications relating to international affairs or defence
  •  (1) An application under section 41 or 42 relating to a record or a part of a record that the head of a government institution has refused to disclose by reason of paragraph 13(1)(a) or (b) or section 15 shall be heard and determined by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court or by any other judge of that Court that the Chief Justice may designate to hear those applications.

  • Marginal note:Special rules for hearings

    (2) An application referred to in subsection (1) or an appeal brought in respect of such application shall

    • (a) be heard in camera; and

    • (b) on the request of the head of the government institution concerned, be heard and determined in the National Capital Region described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.

  • Marginal note:Ex parte representations

    (3) During the hearing of an application referred to in subsection (1) or an appeal brought in respect of such application, the head of the government institution concerned shall, on the request of the head of the institution, be given the opportunity to make representations ex parte.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 52;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 112.
Marginal note:Costs
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the costs of and incidental to all proceedings in the Court under this Act shall be in the discretion of the Court and shall follow the event unless the Court orders otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Where the Court is of the opinion that an application for review under section 41 or 42 has raised an important new principle in relation to this Act, the Court shall order that costs be awarded to the applicant even if the applicant has not been successful in the result.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “53”.
 
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