Freedom of Information Act 2014

49.

Immunity from legal proceedings

49. (1) This section applies to—

(a) an act consisting of the publication under section 8 of a document specified in that section,

(b) an act consisting of the furnishing to a person under section 10 of a statement specified in that section, or

(c) an act consisting of the grant or the grant in part under section 13 or by virtue of section 21 or 22 of an FOI request,

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 this Act.

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

(a) against—

(i) the State,

(ii) an FOI body,

(iii) a head,

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

(v) a service provider,

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) (c) 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 FOI body.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to proceedings for breach of a duty imposed by section 8 .

(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 an FOI request shall not be taken as constituting an authorisation or approval of the doing by the requester concerned, in relation to any sound recording or film, contained in the record concerned, of any act otherwise prohibited.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5), the grant of an FOI request 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, or

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

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

(ii) any sound recording, film or broadcast,

(iii) the typographical arrangement of a published edition, or

(iv) an original database,

contained in the record concerned.

(7) A word or expression that is used in subsection (5) or (6) and is also used in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 has in those subsections the same meaning as in that Act.