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:

Read more »


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 »


The GDPR is to become law in the UK

November 1st, 2016 by Anya Proops QC

So sayeth Secretary of State Karen Bradley MP in her evidence to the Culture, Media, and Sports Select Committee on Monday 24th October 2016. In fact, her precise words were: ‘We will be members of the EU in 2018 and therefore it would be expected and quite normal for us to opt into the GDPR and then look later at how best we might be able to help British business with data protection while maintaining high levels of protection for members of the public’ (see here). This statement has since been welcomed by Elizabeth Denham, as reflected on the ICO’s blog. Read more »


Whose Article 10 rights – the journalist or the confidential source?

October 24th, 2016 by Julian Blake

Does a media corporation breach a source’s article 10 rights by voluntarily disclosing their identity to the police? Is source confidentiality lost by criminal conduct? These are the questions that the Court of Appeal had to grapple with in the appeal against conviction brought by former prison officer Robert Norman.

Read more »