Many thanks to all those who attended 11KBW’s Information Seminar last night. For those of you who were unable to attend, you can find a copy of my paper on ‘FOIA – Recent Developments’ here.

The paper touches on the following themes:

·         the issue of aggregating public interest considerations where multiple exemptions are in play (IC v Office of Communications);


·         protecting confidential and commercially sensitive information (South Gloucestershire v IC; University of Central Lancashire v IC  and Higher Education & Funding Commission for England v IC);


·         how the tribunal approaches cases under FOIA where the health and safety of the public may be put at risk as a result of disclosure (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals v IC & Oxford University and Kalman v IC & Department for Transport (forthcoming));


·         the timing of obtaining the opinion of the qualified person for the purposes of s. 36 FOIA (the prejudice to public affairs exemption) (Roberts v IC & DBIS and University of Central Lancashire v IC);


·         the application of the personal data exemption under s. 40 FOIA, particularly in respect of statistical data (Department of Health v IC & Pro-Life Alliance and Magherafelt DC v IC);


·         late reliance on exemptions (CPS v IC and DEFRA v IC & Birkett);


·         allowing a complainant’s representative to access closed material and participate in the closed session (PETA v IC & Oxford University and DEFRA v IC & Birkett); and


·         access to property search records (East Riding v IC & York Place and OneSearch Direct v City of York Council).

It also includes a section setting out some practical tips for those involved in information tribunal litigation.

Tim Pitt-Payne QC also presented at the seminar. His paper was on the subject of ‘Information Law in the New Parliament’. An updated version of Tim’s paper, reflecting political developments being reported today, will appear on the blog within the next week.