Search site:

Freedom of information advanced module

Law enforcement and FOI – section 37 FOI Act

Who should attend

This course is for employees who have attended our 'Introduction to FOI' course.

Course outline

In relation to section 37 of the FOI Act, this course will address the several separate exemptions including:

  • the significance of the phrase 'would, or could reasonably be expected to' (ss 37(1) and (2))
  • the meaning of the limitation 'in a particular instance' as used in s 37(1)(a)
  • the issue of disclosure of, and possible prejudice to, enforcement methods (s 37(2)(b))
  • the meaning of 'a confidential informant' in s 37(1)(b)
  • what will constitute 'evidence of endangering life and physical safety'.

Concerning section 38 of the FOI Act, we will briefly consider, in terms of the law before and after October 1991, the recognition by the FOI Act of secrecy provisions in other legislation and the limitations of this exemption.

The course will involve syndicate exercises and group discussions and will be supported by a comprehensive paper.


Participants will gain a fuller appreciation of section 37 issues and of the development of section 38 as it is currently framed.


Our presenters are AGS lawyers who have a great depth of knowledge of the government environment and who practise extensively in the areas of information access and administrative law.


This is a half-day course, either 9 am – 12.30 pm or 1.30 – 5 pm. The calendar indicates when sessions are being offered by either 'am' or 'pm'. Morning/afternoon tea will be provided.


Standard fee – $600 (inclusive of GST) per person.

No more than 20 people will be accepted on each course and courses will only be conducted if we receive sufficient nominations.