Legal advice used to justify a curfew as part of Victoria's coronavirus lockdown must not be kept secret ahead of a court fight, a judge has ruled.
The validity of a curfew, still affecting metropolitan Melbourne, will be tested in a Supreme Court trial next week.
Mornington Peninsula cafe owner Michelle Loielo is challenging the requirement that people stay home between 9pm and 5am, claiming it breaches her human rights.
The widowed mother-of-three and aspiring Liberal candidate also says she had suffered lost income, nervous shock, depression and anxiety.
The case is brought against associate professor Michelle Giles, deputy public health commander responsible for signing off on emergency powers issued by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
Ms Loielo's lawyers asked Justice Tim Ginnane to grant them access to documents, including a copy of 11 individual assessments by the Legal Services Branch finding each of the CHO's directions "are likely to be compatible with" the Charter of Human Rights.
But Prof Giles' lawyers challenged their request for access, saying the redacted parts of the documents should not be released because they are privileged communications between lawyers and clients.
In a court document Prof Giles requested some information about her and her family's personal circumstances be redacted, and raised concerns that some people who have tested positive for coronavirus might be identifiable.
A daily outbreak summary document records details of active cases and information about complex cases that have the potential to lead to new outbreaks.
"It also contains some detailed personal information about cases such as a person's place of work, their position within that workplace, their housing situation, and the number of close contacts, which in some cases could enable them to be identified," she wrote.
Justice Ginnane revealed in a decision on Thursday that a section of the documents, headed "Justification for issuing the Directions" was largely redacted, except for a sentence which said human rights may be subject to "reasonable limits that can be justified by reference to various factors".
He said the central issue in the case was the extent to which Prof Giles had considered the Charter of Human Rights.
"The legal advice relied on by her may be directly relevant to deciding that issue," he said.
Her affidavit to the court suggested she was at least in part influenced by the legal assessment she was provided in making her decision about he directions, he said.
The full documents should be handed over, he said.
The trial, expected to take two days, is scheduled to begin on Monday.
The curfew is due to remain in place until October 26.
Australian Associated Press
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