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Access to records for legal proceedings

Access to records held by the Archives in response to discovery orders and subpoenas

e-Discovery and the law - what is the record?

Presentation on digital records in evidence, 31 May 2011, by Seamus Byrne, Director of KordaMentha, Australian information lawyer and computer forensics expert. (pdf 1.4Mb)

Accessing information

Agencies need to be able to find and use their information, in all formats and in all locations, to support business activities.

Information within your agency

Making your information easy to find and use will have a significant impact on the efficiency of your agency. One of the Digital Continuity Principles is to ensure that digital information is discoverable, accessible and usable. This is important for business and legislative reasons.

Information and records held in Australian Government agencies are subject to the access provisions of the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act. Find out more about accessing information in your agency

Information held by the Archives

Agency information already transferred to the custody of the National Archives may occasionally be needed to support ongoing business. To retrieve or view information that has been transferred to the Archives from your agency, see Access to information held by the Archives.

Other agencies' information

There may be times that agencies need access to information held by other agencies. For information on viewing information created by, or in the custody of another agency, see Access to other agencies' information.

Public access

Your agency has a responsibility to make its information available to the public to account for its actions and activities. The public has a right of access to Australian Government records under the Archives Act 1983.

Special access

If you are:

  • a former governor-general, minister or senior public servant who wishes to refresh memories of events dealt with while in office
  • an authorised biographer of one of these people
  • a person who has deposited personal records with the Archives
  • a person preparing major works of national significance for publication

you may qualify for special access to the Archives collection. This means you are granted access to records which are not in the open access period or which are not publicly available.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019