• Chapter 9: Chapter 9: Information Orders and Information Rules

    • 160. Application for information about action to recover judgment debt

      (1) A person who is a creditor in relation to a judgment debt may apply to the Court of First Instance for information about what kind of action it would be appropriate to take in Court to recover that particular debt.
      (2) An application under subsection (1) must comply with any provision made in rules about the making of such application.

    • 161. Action by the Court of First Instance

      (1) This section applies if the creditor in relation to a judgment debt makes an application for information under section 160.
      (2) The Court of First Instance may make an information order in relation to the debtor.
      (3) The Court may exercise its powers under subsection (2) only if it is satisfied that to do so will help it to deal with the creditor's application.
      (4) Before exercising its powers under subsection (2), the Court must give notice to the debtor that the Court intends to make an order.
      (5) The Court may disclose such information (including information identifying the debtor) as it considers necessary to assist the recipients of an order to comply with such order.
      (6) A disclosure under subsection (5) is not to be taken to breach any restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).
      (7) Nothing in this section is to be taken to affect any power that exists apart from this section to order the disclosure of information.

    • 162. Information orders

      (1) An information order is an order of the Court of First Instance which —
      (a) specifies a prescribed person ("the information discloser");
      (b) specifies prescribed information relating to the debtor ("the required information"); and
      (c) orders the information discloser to disclose the required information to the Court.
      (2) In subsection (1), "prescribed" means prescribed by rules.
      (3) Rules made under this section may be made by reference to —
      (a) particular persons or particular descriptions of person (or both);
      (b) particular information or particular descriptions of information (or both).
      (4) Rules may, in particular, be made under this section so as to ensure that —
      (a) an information order made against a particular person, or a person of a particular description, may order that person to disclose only particular information, or information of a particular description;
      (b) an information order that orders the disclosure of particular information, or information of a particular description, may only be made against a particular person, or a person of a particular description.
      (5) Rules made under this section must not make provision that would allow the Court to order the disclosure of information by the debtor.

    • 163. Information order: required information not held etc.

      (1) An information discloser is not to be regarded as having breached an information order because of a failure to disclose some or all of the required information, if that failure is for one of the permitted reasons.
      (2) The permitted reasons are that —
      (a) the information provider does not hold the information;
      (b) the information provider is unable to ascertain whether the information is held because of the way in which the information order identifies the debtor;
      (c) the disclosure of the information would involve the information discloser in unreasonable or disproportionate effort or expense.
      (3) It is to be presumed that a failure to disclose required information is for a permitted reason if —
      (a) the information discloser gives the Court of First Instance a certificate that complies with subsection (4); and
      (b) there is no evidence that the failure is not for a permitted reason.
      (4) The certificate must state —
      (a) which of the required information is not being disclosed;
      (b) what the permitted reason is, or permitted reasons are, for the failure to disclose that information.
      (5) Any reference in this section to the information discloser holding, or not holding, information includes a reference to the information being held, or not being held, on the information discloser's behalf.

    • 164. Using information about the debtor

      (1) This section applies if —
      (a) the creditor in relation to a judgment debt makes an application for information under section 160; and
      (b) information ("debtor information") is disclosed to the Court of First Instance in compliance with an order made under section 161.
      (2) The Court may use the debtor information for the purposes of making another order under section 161 in relation to the debtor.
      (3) The Court may use the debtor information for the purpose of providing the creditor with information about what kind of action (if any) it would be appropriate to take in court (whether the Court of First Instance or another Court) to recover the judgment debt.
      (4) If the creditor takes any action in the Court of First Instance to recover the judgment debt, the Court may use the debtor information in carrying out functions in relation to that action.
      (5) If the creditor takes any action in another Court to recover the judgment debt —
      (a) the Court of First Instance may disclose the debtor information to the other Court; and
      (b) the other Court may use that information in carrying out functions in relation to that action.
      (6) Debtor information may be used or disclosed under any of subsections (3) to (5) only if —
      (a) rules about such use or disclosure of information are in force; and
      (b) the use or disclosure complies with those rules.
      (7) The use or disclosure of information in accordance with this section is not to be taken to breach any restriction on the use or disclosure of information (however imposed).
      (8) Nothing in this section is to be taken to affect any power that exists apart from this section to use or disclose information.
      (9) In this section "another Court" means any inferior court or tribunal and "other Court" shall be construed accordingly.

    • 165. Penalty for unauthorised use or disclosure

      (1) This section applies if —
      (a) an application is made under section 160 in relation to recovery of a judgment debt ("the relevant judgment debt");
      (b) an information order is made in consequence of that application; and
      (c) information ("debtor information") is disclosed in accordance with the order.
      (2) A person to whom the debtor information is disclosed commits a contravention of these Regulations if he —
      (a) uses or discloses the debtor information; and
      (b) the use or disclosure is not authorised by any of subsections (3) to (6).
      (3) The use or disclosure of debtor information is authorised if it is in accordance with section 164.
      (4) The use or disclosure of the debtor information is authorised if it is —
      (a) in accordance with an enactment or order of Court; or
      (b) for the purposes of any proceedings before a Court,
      and it is in accordance with rules.
      (5) The use or disclosure of debtor information is authorised if the information has previously been lawfully disclosed to the public.
      (6) The use or disclosure of debtor information is authorised if it is in accordance with court procedure rules that comply with rules made under subsection (7).
      (7) Rules may make provision about the circumstances, if any, in which court procedure rules may allow access to, or the supply of, information disclosed in accordance with an information order.
      (8) A person who makes an unauthorised use or disclosure of debtor information shall not incur any liability for any such breach under subsection (2) if he proves that he reasonably believed that the use or disclosure was authorised or was otherwise lawful.
      (9) A person who commits a contravention under subsection (2) is liable to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard fines scale.

    • 166. Information rules

      (1) It is for the Chief Justice to make information rules.
      (2) In this section "information rules" means rules made under any of sections 160 to 165.