4 Aug 2013

Comment by lawyer on leaked emails

8:15 am on 4 August 2013

A privacy lawyer says a Fairfax journalist has grounds to complain to the Privacy Commissioner only if her leaked emails were opened.

The Government on Friday disclosed that emails between independent MP Peter Dunne and reporter Andrea Vance were released to the Henry inquiry into GCSB leaks, and then recalled.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the privacy breaches should be investigated by Parliament's Privileges Committee.

But privacy lawyer John Edwards said it is not yet certain the emails were given to the Henry inquiry.

He says if the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet never passed the emails to the inquiry, a Privacy Act complaint could not proceed, because the Parliamentary Service is not subject to the Act.

Mr Edwards said if it is true the emails were recalled and not read, then again the Act would not have been breached.