For the purposes of the Act, ‘prejudice’ means causing harm in some way. Many of the exemptions listed below apply if disclosing the information you hold would harm the interests covered by the exemption. In the same way, confirming or denying whether you have the information can also cause prejudice. Deciding whether disclosure would cause prejudice is called the prejudice test.
To decide whether disclosure (or confirmation/denial) would cause prejudice:
- you must be able to identify a negative consequence of the disclosure (or confirmation/denial), and this negative consequence must be significant (more than trivial);
- you must be able to show a link between the disclosure (or confirmation/denial) and the negative consequences, showing how one would cause the other; and
- there must be at least a real possibility of the negative consequences happening, even if you can’t say it is more likely than not.
For further information, read our more detailed guidance: