Government Appeals in Meta Request Case

January 27th, 2009

In Home Office & Ministry of Justice v Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal was called upon to decide the novel question whether information about internal FOIA processes operated by public authorities was itself susceptible to disclosure under FOIA. The information in issue in the case related to some 48 requests which had been made by or on behalf of a particular media organisation. The Government sought to argue before the Tribunal that it was lawfully entitled to withhold the requested information on the basis that  it was exempt under section 36 FOIA (prejudice to conduct of public affairs). In a robust decision, the Tribunal rejected the Government’s appeal. It found that the information was not exempt under section 36. It also found that the Government had erred by treating the requested information, in effect, as a special class of information which was less susceptible to disclosure under FOIA than other types of information. The Government is now appealing the decision to the High Court.

Tribunal Decision:

https://www.11kbw.com/judgments/docs/HomeOfficeMoJvIC.pdf

Legal Week Article:

https://www.legalweek.com/Navigation/32/Articles/1197080/Freedom+of+Information+Act+Under+orders+to+disclose.html

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