When Transparency Can Be Deadly: Reporting of Identifiable and Locatable Personal Information in AAT Couple Rule Decisions that Involve Domestic Violence

Lyndal Naomi Sleep, Luisa Gras Diaz

Abstract


When a person discloses domestic or family violence, it is vital that identifying or locatable information be managed with appropriate protective factors in place. This is because there is a very real risk of perpetrators locating their victims and their children and inflecting further harm. It is also due to the sensitive nature of this information. Sleep found that one in five ‘couple rule’ decisions reported by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) involved domestic violence. Further, that these decisions report identifiable and locatable information about domestic violence victims and their children and are freely accessible to the public online. This puts victims and their children at increased risk of further abuse from their perpetrator.  This paper argues that more care should be taken when disclosing individual’s identifiable and locatable information in reporting of decisions by tribunals like the AAT, especially in situations that involve sensitive and/or risky information like ‘couple rule’ decisions that involve domestic violence. This is demonstrated through a content analysis of AAT ‘couple rule’ decisions that are publically available online and involve domestic violence.


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References


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Legislation

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act) (Cth)

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth)

Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld)

Migration Act 1958 (Cth)

Social Security Act 1991(Cth).

Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)

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