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judicial functions of the judicial officers was not subject to the jurisdiction of the



In another decision of AAB No. 22/2007, the complainant made a data access request

to the Judiciary for obtaining, inter alia, the transcript of the hearing of her case at the

Labour Tribunal. The AAB ruled that the transcript was a Court document and could not

be accessed through a data access request under section 18 of the Ordinance. This was

part of the judicial proceedings at the Labour Tribunal and outside the scope of the



The question of what amounts to the performance of a judicial function was considered

in AAB No. 57/2011. The complainant was a defendant/appellant in a criminal case and

its subsequent appeals. He made a data access request to the appellate judge for

documents which were excluded by the judge from the appeal bundle. The data

access request was made after the conclusion of the Court proceedings and there

were no pending judicial proceedings. The AAB considered that any party to the

appeal may apply to the appellate Court for incorporation of documents they think

relevant. Alternatively, with the leave of Court they may refer to documents not so

incorporated in the appeal bundle. Therefore, the exclusion or inclusion of a particular

document in the appeal bundle by the judge at the first instance does not affect the

right of any party to the appeal to argue properly their respective case before the

appellate Court. Hence, it is not appropriate to regard the assistance of the appellate

judge in the preparation of the appeal bundle as his judicial act or function. The AAB

further found that the appellate judge was not a data user in respect of the case file or

the appeal bundle. These documents formed part of the Court record and the keeper

or custodian of the Court record was the Registrar of the High Court. The ultimate

responsibility of how to comply with the data access request lies with the Registrar of the

High Court, not the appellate judge. As the complaint was lodged against the appellate

judge who was not a data user, the AAB upheld the decision of the Commissioner not to

investigate the complaint.

Section 52 —Domestic Purposes


Section 52 exempts from application all of the data protection principles and other

provisions of the Ordinance such as the access to or correction of personal data, etc. in

respect of personal data held for management of personal, family or household affairs

or recreational purposes. A common example would be the holding of an address and

telephone list of friends and relatives by an individual for communication purposes (such

as the sending of Christmas cards), or for social or recreational activities.


Section 52 provides as follows:

52. Domestic purposes

Personal data held by an individual and –

(a) concerned only with the management of his personal, family or household affairs;


(b) so held only for recreational purposes,

is exempt from the provisions of the data protection principles, Parts 4 and 5 and sections