SPIER V ACT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER  ACTAAT 125
AAT of the ACT – 24 October 1995
Spier sought access to two documents being legal advice from the ACT Government Solicitor and from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, relating to an incident report after a person intimidated a poll helper at a polling booth.
The application was addressed to Phillip Green, ACT Electoral Commissioner. The decision to deny access to the documents was made by Phillip Green, the ACT Electoral Commissioner.
Spier applied to the AAT and did not first seek an internal review. Counsel for the Electoral Commissioner claimed that the correct agency for making the decision was the ACT Electoral Commission and the ACT Electoral Commissioner was not the principal officer of the Commission and therefore there should have been an internal review before the application to the AAT commenced.
Was the ACT Electoral Commissioner a principal officer of a prescribed authority for the purpose of the FOI Act?
Were the documents containing legal advice subject to legal professional privilege and therefore exempt documents?