FOI in Court

FOIMan lists court cases that have considered the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations.

The decisions of the Information Commissioner and First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) are  very useful in knowing how to interpret the legislation. However, their findings do not formally create law. Only when cases reach the Upper Tribunal do decisions set precedent. In other words, the Commissioner and Tribunal must follow the same approach taken in those cases when considering the same issues in future. That’s really important in terms of building a consistent approach to FOI and EIR.

On this page I’ve provided links to precedent-setting rulings published on the BAILII website – most are decisions of the Upper Tribunal, but there are also High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions. I’ve listed these under headings related to the subjects they cover (so some appear more than once). This is not an exhaustive list, but I’ll try to add to it regularly over time, and to make sure the most important cases are listed.

Freedom of Information Act (UK)

Section 3 (whether information is held)

University of Newcastle upon Tyne v Information Commissioner and BUAV [2011] UKUT 185 (AAC)

Section 10 (time for compliance)

John v Information Commissioner and Ofsted [2014] UKUT 444 (AAC): definition of “promptly”

Section 11 (form of information)

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v The Information Commissioner and Leapman [2014] UKUT 33 (AAC): obligation to provide copies of actual documents rather than transcript

Section 12

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC): late reliance

South Yorkshire Police v Information Commissioner [2011] EWHC 44 (Admin): cost of redaction

Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v (1) The Information Commissioner (2) Donnie Mackenzie [2014] UKUT 479 (AAC)

Section 14

IC v Dransfield [2012] UKUT 440 (AAC): correct application of vexatious provision

Ainslie v IC [2012] UKUT 441 (AAC) (28 January 2013)

IB v IC and Dorset Police [2013] UKUT 582 (AAC)

Section 16

Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v (1) The Information Commissioner (2) Donnie Mackenzie [2014] UKUT 479 (AAC): extent of advice and assistance required

Section 17

Information Commissioner v Home Office [2011] UKUT 17 (AAC) (26 January 2011) (incorporates DEFRA v Information Commissioner and Simon Birkett): late reliance on Part II exemptions

Section 23

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC)

All Party Group on Extraordinary Rendition v The Information Commissioner and Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2013] UKUT 560 (AAC): relates to

Home Office v Information Commissioner and Cobain (Final Decision) [2015] UKUT 27 (AAC): what happens if by disclosing information legitimately, you would disclose information that ought to be withheld (see Panopticon blog for analysis)

Section 26

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC)

CC v (1) The Information Commissioner, (2) The Ministry of Defence [2014] UKUT 345 (AAC)

Section 27

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC)

All Party Group on Extraordinary Rendition v The Information Commissioner and Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2013] UKUT 560 (AAC)

Section 30

WS v 1) Information Commissioner and (2) North Lancashire PCT [2013] UKUT 181 (AAC)

Section 31

WS v 1) Information Commissioner and (2) North Lancashire PCT [2013] UKUT 181 (AAC)

Section 32

Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Information Commissioner and SoS for Justice and Lord Chancellor [2014] UKUT 284 (AAC): definition of “document” in section 32

 

Section 33

Office of Government Commerce v Information Commissioner (Rev 1) [2008] EWHC 737 (Admin)

Section 35

Office of Government Commerce v Information Commissioner (Rev 1) [2008] EWHC 737 (Admin)

The Cabinet Office v The Information Commissiner and Gavin Aitchison [2013] UKUT 526 (AAC)

All Party Group on Extraordinary Rendition v The Information Commissioner and Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2013] UKUT 560 (AAC)

Section 36

Department for Work and Pensions v IC and FZ [2014] UKUT 334 (AAC)

Section 37

Rob Evans v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC)

Section 40

Rob Evans v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC)

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC)

Information Commissioner v Magherafelt District Council [2012] UKUT 263 (AAC): disciplinary proceedings; anonymisation

The Information Commissioner v The FSA and Edem [2012] UKUT 464 (AAC): definition of personal information SUPERSEDED BY

Edem v The Information Commissioner & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 92: names are personal data

Common Services Agency v Scottish Information Commissioner [2008] UKHL 47: anonymisation

Department of Health, R (on the application of) v Information Commissioner [2011] EWHC 1430 (Admin): disclosed statistics are not personal data just because public authority is able to identify individuals

Goldsmith International Business School v the Information Commissioner and The Home Office  [2014] UKUT 563 (AAC): test of “reasonable necessity” in respect of DPA legitimate interests condition

Surrey Heath Borough Council v The Information Commissioner and John Morley [2014] UKUT 339 (AAC): fairness, legitimate interests, data about children, social media (for analysis, read Panopticon blog)

Section 41

Rob Evans v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC)

Browning v Information Commissioner and DBIS [2013] UKUT 236 (AAC)

JW v Information Commissioner and Nottingham Health Care NHS Trust [2013] UKUT 648 (AAC): information relating to the deceased

Section 42

APG v Information Commissioner & The Ministry of Defence [2011] UKUT 153 (AAC)

Section 43

UK Coal v Information Commissioner & Others [2012] UKUT 212 (AAC)

Browning v Information Commissioner and DBIS [2013] UKUT 236 (AAC)

Department for Work and Pensions v IC and FZ [2014] UKUT 334 (AAC)

Section 44

PricewaterhouseCooper v Information Commissioner [2011] UKUT 372 (AAC)

OFCOM v Morrissey & Information Commissioner [2011] UKUT 116 (AAC)

Procedural matters

Browning v Information Commissioner and DBIS [2013] UKUT 236 (AAC): closed hearings

Sugar v British Broadcasting Corporation & Anor [2012] UKSC 4: BBC derogation, ECHR Article 10 relevance

Kennedy v The Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20: ECHR Article 10 relevance

The University and Colleges Admission Services v The Information Commissioner and Lord Lucas  [2014] UKUT 557 (AAC): scope of UCAS’s FOI obligations/derogation

Environmental Information Regulations

Regulation 2 (definition of public authority)

Smartsource v Information Commissioner and a Group of 19 additional parties [2010] UKUT 415 (AAC)

Fish Legal v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 177 (AAC)

Regulation 2 (definition of environmental information)

Kirklees Council v Information Commissioner and PALI Ltd [2011] UKUT 104 (AAC): Land charges; charging for environmental information

Regulation 12 (exceptions generally)

DEFRA v Information Commissioner and Simon Birkett [2011] UKUT 39 (AAC): late reliance on exceptions

Chichester District Council v The Information Commissioner and Friel [2012] UKUT 491 (AAC): aggregation of public interest arguments

Export Credits Guarantee Department v Friends of the Earth [2008] EWHC 638 (Admin): scope of “internal”, interpretation of 12(2) “presumption in favour of disclosure”

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs v The Information Commissioner and The Badger Trust [2014] UKUT 526 (AAC): relevant date for consideration of public interest

Regulation 12(4)(e)

Export Credits Guarantee Department v Friends of the Earth [2008] EWHC 638 (Admin): scope of “internal”, interpretation of 12(2) “presumption in favour of disclosure”

Regulation 12(5)(b)

DCLG v The Information Commissioner & WR [2012] UKUT 103 (AAC) (28 March 2012): legal professional privilege

GW v The Information Commissioner & The Local Government Ombudsman & Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2014] UKUT 0130 (AAC): legal professional privilege, emissions

Regulation 12(5)(d)

GW v The Information Commissioner & The Local Government Ombudsman & Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2014] UKUT 0130 (AAC): legal professional privilege, emissions

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs v The Information Commissioner and The Badger Trust [2014] UKUT 526 (AAC)

Regulation 12(5)(e)

SI Green (UK) Ltd v Swansea Friends of the Earth and The Information Commissioner [2013] UKUT 473 (AAC)

Regulation 12(5)(f)

Rob Evans v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC)

Regulation 12(9) (emissions)

GW v The Information Commissioner & The Local Government Ombudsman & Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2014] UKUT 0130 (AAC): legal professional privilege, emissions

Regulation 13

Rob Evans v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 313 (AAC)

Scottish FOIA

South Lanarkshire Council v The Scottish Information Commissioner [2013] UKSC 55 (29 July 2013): personal information

Glasgow City Council v Scottish Information Commissioner [2009] CSIH 73: validity of requests; disclosing identity of the true applicant

Dumfries and Galloway Council v Scottish Information Commisisoner [2008] CSIH 12: Section 26; disclosure prohibited by another enactment

Scottish Ministers v Scottish Information Commissioner [2007] CSIH 08: deals with a number of exemptions

Craigdale Housing Association & Others v Scottish Information Commissioner [2010] CSIH 43: disclosure of personal data (in respect of Registered Sex Offenders)

Beggs v Scottish Information Commissioner [2014] CSIH 10: Investigations; Law Enforcement

Common Services Agency v Scottish Information Commissioner [2008] UKHL 47: anonymisation

 

Last updated 16 February 2015