9.1 This chapter considers a number of details in the legal design of the statutory cause of action for serious invasion of privacy, including the appropriate forums to hear the cause of action, costs orders, and limitation periods.
9.2 The ALRC proposes that federal, state and territory courts should have jurisdiction to hear an action for serious invasion of privacy. The ALRC also proposes that an action under the new tort should generally be brought within one year. This is consistent with the one year limitation period prescribed for actions in defamation. It will also encourage the proper and timely administration of justice.
9.3 The chapter then discusses who should have standing to sue for a serious invasion of privacy. The ALRC proposes that the plaintiff must be a natural person, rather than a company or other organisation. The ALRC also proposes that the statutory cause of action for serious invasion of privacy should not survive in favour of a plaintiff’s estate or against a defendant’s estate. These proposals reflect the fact that privacy is a matter of personal sensibility.
9.4 There may often be alternatives to bringing an action under the new tort, such as making a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Failing to pursue such alternative dispute resolution processes should not bar a plaintiff from bringing an action under the new tort. However, the ALRC proposes that the new Act provide that, in determining any remedy, courts may take into account whether or not a party took reasonable steps to resolve the dispute without litigation and the outcome of any alternative dispute resolution process.