Canberra's child protection system is blatantly trying to restrict lawyers and affected people accessing important information, an inquiry has heard.
Speaking at the inquiry into Child and Youth Protection Services on Tuesday, ACT Law Society president Chris Donohue said people involved in the system lacked the right to information, made worse by the passing of new FOI laws last year.
The blocking of information means carers are often unable to access information about allegations that have been made against them, or lawyers are unaware of important details of the children they are representing, the hearing was told.
The changes came about when the government - with the support of the Greens - passed what they called minor amendments to the FOI Act last year.
But Mr Donoghue said the changes were anything but minor and had a profound effect on people's right to access information about themselves.
In practice, this mean carers who have had children moved from their care into someone else's can't find out what they've done wrong.
Mr Donoghue said the system also lacked internal and external review procedures to allow the decision of the director general to be reviewed.
"It's most important that people who are using this system feel there is justice - not just there somewhere but there as a first step," he said.
Lawyer Adrian Curtis said lawyers were also often unable to access information about a child when they were acting as the child's representative.
"There have been examples where the child has been subject to criminal charges and child protection have been well aware of them but have failed to disclose them," he told the inquiry.
"Unless forcefully pressed have been unwilling to give information about it at all."