Hearings about children and young people are held in private. There are also specific requirements to keep the information given in QCAT proceedings for child protection, blue card and other child related proceedings confidential. These requirements are strict due to the sensitive nature of the information given in proceedings and the need to protect the privacy of the parties and children involved.
Only parties can have access to the information given in proceedings and this access may be restricted under a confidentiality order (non-publication order). The tribunal can allow publication of information where the information is in the public interest and it does not conflict with the best interests of the child. Any information allowed to be published by the tribunal must be de-identified so that any person involved in the proceeding cannot be easily identified.
QCAT can make a confidentiality order prohibiting or restricting a party’s access to some of the evidence or a document that has been given to the tribunal as part of the proceedings. QCAT can make the confidentiality order with or without an application by a party. To apply for confidentiality order (non-publication order) complete and lodge Form 40 - Application for miscellaneous matters.
QCAT will only make the order if it believes that a child is likely to be harmed, the safety of another person is likely to be endangered or there would be undue interference with the privacy of another person if the tribunal did not make the order.
Access to the register and records of proceedings for child protection matters is limited to the parties involved in the proceedings. Access can also be further restricted by the terms of a non-publication order.