Alternative Remedies and the DPA

November 16th, 2016 by Christopher Knight

Data subjects will very often wish to challenge the compliance of public authorities with the Data Protection Act 1998. How should they do it? If it were a private body which was the data controller, the only route would be way of Part 7 or Part 8 claim under the DPA – a claim under section 7(9) if it concerns a subject access request. But could the same complaint against a public authority data controller be brought by way of judicial review under Part 54? Read more »


A Human Right to Freedom of Information

November 14th, 2016 by Rupert Paines

Last week, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down its much-awaited judgment in Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary (18030/11) (see previous post here). The judgment, over a year in formulation, is a landmark in the application of human rights principles in the freedom of information arena.

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The First-Tier Tribunal Under Threat

November 10th, 2016 by Christopher Knight

The Campaign for Freedom of Information have very helpfully drawn attention to an unexpected Government announcement which arises out of the Independent Commission for FOI report (a summary here). Readers will recall that the Government had proposed introducing fees for FOI appeals, but that ended up getting parked because of the Commission review. The Ministry of Justice has now, in a Response to the Justice Committee’s Second Report, seen fit to brandish a more threatening sabre:

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Chilcot, Blair and FOIA

November 10th, 2016 by Robin Hopkins

FOIA remains a potent tool for enhancing transparency on issues of great public importance. Two recent decisions – concerning the Chilcot Inquiry and the post-prime ministerial activities of Tony Blair – are good current illustrations. Read more »


103-year old files correctly withheld under FOIA

November 10th, 2016 by Robin Hopkins

Is it plausible that information over a century old could be withheld under FOIA on the grounds of national security and/or endangerment of health and safety? The answer is evidently ‘yes’. That was the outcome of a request for information on informants in the Jack the Ripper investigations (see Marriott v IC EA/2010/0183). A request for information on police informants involved in Irish secret societies over the period 1890-1910 has met the same outcome. Read more »


ANPR and personal data

November 10th, 2016 by Robin Hopkins

Automatic Number Plate Recognition allows a vehicle to be tracked to its registered keeper. It is clearly a form of identifier linking a car and its movements with a specific individual. It is that person’s personal data. But could it be the personal data of other people as well – such as passengers in the car? Read more »