e-bulletin No. 91 November 2019
Policy on publication of decisions
In e-Bulletin No 87 of September 2019 attention was drawn to the Workers Compensation Commission’s policy on the publication of decisions. That e-Bulletin confirmed the Commission’s presumption in favour of publishing decisions to ensure transparency, accountability, education and guidance to the parties, subject to a seven-day non-publication period to allow a party sufficient time to apply to withhold a decision from publication.
The Commission is aware that a practice has emerged whereby a number of legal representatives circulate decisions before publication, contrary to the policy and its intended purpose.
The Commission consulted with User Group representatives and key stakeholders, SIRA, icare and The Law Society of NSW regarding the policy and whether to retain it. The consultation process has been helpful to highlight the beneficial operation of the policy and support for its continued operation. The policy was widely acknowledged as a responsible approach, having regard to the often sensitive information contained in decisions and wellbeing concerns.
In its Monday Briefs edition of 11 November 2019, The Law Society of NSW reminded its members of the requirement to comply with the policy.
I confirm the continued operation of the policy and expect all legal practitioners to comply with its requirements.
If it is in the public interest to circulate a decision urgently, the Commission will seek the concurrence of the parties for its early publication.
Judge Gerard Phillips