Monday, March 26, 2018


That's how much the government owes Kim Dotcom thanks to former Attorney-General Chris Finlayson's arrogance:

The Crown breached the privacy of the internet mogul Kim Dotcom when it refused to release private information about him, the Human Rights Review Tribunal finds.

The Tribunal's finding released today said Dotcom wrote to 28 Ministers of the Crown in July 2015 requesting all private information held about him.

The 52 requests were in near identical terms and were forwarded to the Attorney General.

Mr Dotcom also said the request was for pending legal action and urgency was sought.

One month later the Solicitor General declined the request, saying they were vexatious, meaning it did not have sufficient grounds or was purely intended to be difficult.

Today, the Tribunal found the Crown had breached the Privacy Act by refusing the request for information. The Crown has been ordered to pay $90,000 in damages.

And that conclusion ought to have been obvious from the start. The transfers were inappropriate (if not made in outright bad faith), and the bar for vexatiousness is extremely high, and only gets higher when the requester is engaged in litigation against an agency and has had their privacy breached. The Attorney-General basicly treated the Privacy Act like the OIA, perverting it for political reasons. And that's simply not acceptable.

Which leads to the obvious question: will Chris Finlayson be paying this money (and the resulting costs) personally? Or will he hide behind his former office to avoid the consequences of his bad decision-making? And if he does, then what incentive is there for future attorney-generals not to make similarly bad faith decisions?

Though I guess Dotcom has an answer for that:

I look forward to the results of these cases, because they will be fascinating...

The full judgement is here.