Section 166 DPA Appeals Again

We previously noted on this blog the decision in Leighton v Information Commissioner (No.2) [2020] UKUT 23 (AAC), emphasising the limited procedural scope of the right to apply to the Tribunal under section 166 DPA 2018. As that was strictly a permission decision, it is worth updating readers that Judge Wikeley repeated has repeated his analysis in a substantive appeal decision in Scranage v Information Commissioner [2020] UKUT 196 (AAC): see particularly at [6], which notes and corrects the “widespread misunderstanding about the reach of section 166”. The appeal itself concerned the time limit provisions, in now historic form, and need not trouble readers unduly. But Judge Wikeley did return to the jurisdiction at the end of his judgment, querying whether the section 166 jurisdiction was working as intended, given the disproportionate resources they enveloped, along with a concern about the lack of coherence between such procedural matters being raised before the FTT and substantive issues having to be raised in the ordinary courts. Whether anyone takes up that baton remains to be seen. We fear it is not top of the legislative to-do list.

Christopher Knight