FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997

Immunity from legal proceedings.

45

45. (1) This section applies to—

( a) an act consisting of the grant or the grant in part under section 8 or by virtue of section 14 or 34 of a request under section 7 ,

( b) an act consisting of the furnishing to a person under section 18 of a statement specified in that section, or

( c) an act consisting of the publication under section 15 or 16 of a document specified in that section,

being an act that was required or authorised by, and complied with the provisions of, this Act or was reasonably believed by the head concerned to have been so required or authorised and to comply with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, civil or criminal proceedings shall not lie in any court—

( a) against—

(i) the State,

(ii) a public body,

(iii) a head,

(iv) a director or a member of the staff of a public body, or

(v) a person providing a service for a public body under a contract for services with the body,

in respect of an act to which this section applies or any consequences of such an act, or

( b) against the author of a record to which an act specified in subsection (1)(a) relates or any other person in respect of any publication involved in, or resulting from, that act by reason of that author or other person having supplied the record to the public body.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to proceedings for breach of a duty imposed by section 16 .

(4) Civil or criminal proceedings shall not lie in any court against the Commissioner or a member of the staff of the Commissioner in respect of anything said or done in good faith by the Commissioner or member in the course of the performance or purported performance of a function of the Commissioner or member.

(5) The grant of a request under section 7 shall not be taken as constituting an authorisation or approval—

( a) for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence, of the publication of the record concerned or any information contained therein by the requester concerned or any other person,

( b) for the purposes of the law of copyright, of the doing by the requester concerned of any act comprised within the copyright in—

(i) any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work,

(ii) any sound recording, cinematograph film, television broadcast or sound broadcast, or

(iii) a published edition of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, contained in the record concerned, or

( c) for the purposes of the Performers' Protection Act, 1968, of the doing by the requester concerned, in relation to any record or cinematograph film (within the meaning, in each case, of that Act) contained in the record concerned, of an act prohibited by that Act.

(6) Words or expressions that are used in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of subsection (5)(b) and are also used in the Copyright Act, 1963, have in those subparagraphs the same meanings as in that Act.