House of Lords Grants Permission in Ofcom

Last month the House of Lords granted the Information Commissioner permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Office of Communications v IC [2009] EWCA Civ 90 (‘Ofcom’). In Ofcom, the Court of Appeal considered the question of how the public interest test under regulation 12(5)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (‘EIR’) applied where a number of different exceptions were engaged in respect of particular requested information. It held that, rather than conducting discrete public interest balancing exercises under each individual exception, the public authority could effectively bundle all the public interest considerations relevant to the applicable exceptions into a single compendious public interest balancing exercise. The Commissioner has now been granted permission to appeal the judgment to the newly constituted Supreme Court. 11KBW’s Ahlaq Choudury is acting on behalf of the Commissioner.