Automotive Dealer Administration Services Pty Ltd v Kulik & Ors [2010] VSC 293 (25 June 2010)

DISCOVERY ― Inspection of documents ― Computer data base as document ― Expert inspection of computer server and networked documents ― Alleged breach of confidence ― Search for confidential information on database ― Discretionary considerations

6 ADS has filed a supplementary affidavit of documents in which document number 3 is identified as “ADS Customer & Warranty Database in electronic format.” A database is a “document” for present purposes. Inspection of the database may be ordered by the Court under r 29.11, more especially under r 29.12. That is clear from the definition of “document” in s 38(d), (e) and (f) of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 (Vic). Reference may also be made to Part 1 of the Dictionary provisions of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic). And I think a computer database would also be describable as “property” within the meaning of the Court’s power to order inspection under rule 37. Having discovered the database, the plaintiff is entitled to inspection of it, there being no objection taken to inspection on the ground of any type of privilege or oppression or some other basis.