Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Act current to 2016-09-18 and last amended on 2016-04-05. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Transmission of reports
  •  (1) Every report to Parliament made by the Privacy Commissioner under section 38 or 39 shall be made by being transmitted to the Speaker of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Commons for tabling in those Houses.

  • Marginal note:Reference to Parliamentary committee

    (2) Every report referred to in subsection (1) shall, after it is transmitted for tabling pursuant to that subsection, be referred to the committee designated or established by Parliament for the purpose of subsection 75(1).

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “40”.

Review by the Federal Court

Marginal note:Review by Federal Court where access refused

 Any individual who has been refused access to personal information requested under subsection 12(1) may, if a complaint has been made to the Privacy 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 Privacy Commissioner are reported to the complainant under subsection 35(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. II “41”.
Marginal note:Privacy Commissioner may apply or appear

 The Privacy Commissioner may

  • (a) apply to the Court, within the time limits prescribed by section 41, for a review of any refusal to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) in respect of which an investigation has been carried out by the Privacy Commissioner, if the Commissioner has the consent of the individual who requested access to the information;

  • (b) appear before the Court on behalf of any individual 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.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “42”.
Marginal note:Application respecting files in exempt banks

 In the circumstances described in subsection 36(5), the Privacy Commissioner may apply to the Court for a review of any file contained in a personal information bank designated as an exempt bank under section 18.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “43”.
Marginal note:Hearing in summary way

 An application made under section 41, 42 or 43 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. P-21, s. 44;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 182.
Marginal note:Access to information

 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 43, examine any information recorded in any form under the control of a government institution, other than a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to which subsection 70(1) applies, and no information that the Court may examine under this section may be withheld from the Court on any grounds.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “45”.
Marginal note:Court to take precautions against disclosing
  •  (1) In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 43, 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 that the head of a government institution would be authorized to refuse to disclose if it were requested under subsection 12(1) or contained in a record requested under the Access to Information Act; or

    • (b) any information as to whether personal information exists where the head of a government institution, in refusing to disclose the personal information 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. P-21, s. 46;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 184.
Marginal note:Burden of proof

 In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 43, the burden of establishing that the head of a government institution is authorized to refuse to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) or that a file should be included in a personal information bank designated as an exempt bank under section 18 shall be on the government institution concerned.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “47”.
Marginal note:Order of Court where no authorization to refuse disclosure found

 Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) on the basis of a provision of this Act not referred to in section 49, the Court shall, if it determines that the head of the institution is not authorized under this Act to refuse to disclose the personal information, order the head of the institution to disclose the personal information, subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, to the individual who requested access thereto, or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “48”.
Marginal note:Order of Court where reasonable grounds of injury not found

 Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) on the basis of section 20 or 21 or paragraph 22(1)(b) or (c) or 24(a), the Court shall, if it determines that the head of the institution did not have reasonable grounds on which to refuse to disclose the personal information, order the head of the institution to disclose the personal information, subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, to the individual who requested access thereto, or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “49”.
Marginal note:Order to remove file from exempt bank

 Where the Privacy Commissioner makes an application to the Court under section 43 for a review of a file contained in a personal information bank designated as an exempt bank under section 18, the Court shall, if it determines

  • (a) in the case of a file contained in the bank on the basis of personal information described in paragraph 22(1)(a) or subsection 22(2), that the file should not be included therein, or

  • (b) in the case of a file contained in the bank on the basis of personal information described in section 21 or paragraph 22(1)(b) or (c), that reasonable grounds do not exist on which to include the file in the bank,

order the head of the government institution that has control of the bank to remove the file from the bank or make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “50”;
  • 1984, c. 40, s. 60.
Marginal note:Actions relating to international affairs and defence
  •  (1) Any application under section 41 or 42 relating to personal information that the head of a government institution has refused to disclose by reason of paragraph 19(1)(a) or (b) or section 21, and any application under section 43 in respect of a file contained in a personal information bank designated as an exempt bank under section 18 to contain files all of which consist predominantly of personal information described in section 21, shall be heard and determined by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court or by any other judge of the Court that the Chief Justice may designate to hear the 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. P-21, s. 51;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 159.
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. II “52”.
 
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