Court of Appeal rules on vexatious and unreasonable information requests – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has handed down a key ruling on the scope of a public authority’s power to reject a request for information as ‘vexatious’ or ‘manifestly unreasonable’.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 20th May 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Publication of the Black Spider Memos: a hollow victory? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

‘On 13th April, the Guardian were finally able to publish the ‘black spider memos,’ private correspondence between Prince Charles and several government departments between September 2004 and March 2005.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 18th May 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Dransfield v Information Commissioner and another; Craven v Information Commissioner and another – WLR Daily

Posted May 15th, 2015 in environmental protection, freedom of information, law reports by tracey

Dransfield v Information Commissioner and another: Craven v Information Commissioner and another; [2015] EWCA Civ 454; [2015] WLR (D) 215

‘The Court of Appeal gave guidance as to the approach of a decision-maker when determining, for the purposes of section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2004, whether a right to information request was vexatious and whether, for the purposes of regulation 12(4)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, a request for environmental information was “manifestly unreasonable”.’

WLR Daily, 14th May 2015

Source:www.iclr.co.uk

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Court exceeded its power in ordering publication of Charles memos – Straw – The Guardian

‘Jack Straw, a former Labour cabinet minister and one of the architects of the Freedom of Information Act, has said that the Prince of Wales’s memos to ministers should have remained secret and that the supreme court exceeded its power in backing the Guardian’s fight for publication.’

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The Guardian, 14th May 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Prince Charles’s ‘black spider’ letters set for publication after 10 year legal battle – The Independent

Posted May 13th, 2015 in freedom of information, news, royal family, Supreme Court, tribunals by tracey

‘The Royal Family’s reputation for political neutrality faces its most serious challenge in a generation as the “black spider” memos written by Prince Charles to senior ministers are finally set to published after a 10-year legal battle.’

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The Independent, 12th May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v Information Commissioner and another – WLR Daily

Posted May 11th, 2015 in disclosure, expenses, freedom of information, law reports, parliament by sally

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v Information Commissioner and another [2015] EWCA Civ 388; [2015] WLR (D) 194

‘A journalist who, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, requested information in three invoices submitted by Members of Parliament as expenses claims was entitled to redacted copies of the documents themselves, not merely to a transcript of information contained in those documents, because the transcripts did not provide all the information which the statutory public authority was obliged to disclose to the requester.’

WLR Daily, 28th April 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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ISPA-Daisy – Panopticon

Posted April 29th, 2015 in disclosure, freedom of information, news by sally

‘It has been said in the recent past that FOIA is sexy. We at 11KBW know all too well how difficult it can be to maintain a constant level of supreme attractiveness. Like all sexy beasts, even FOIA can have a day on which even its own mother would struggle would struggle to describe it as worthy of a second glance. The decision of the Court of Appeal in The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v ICO & Leapman [2015] EWCA Civ 388 might be thought to be one of FOIA’s off-days.’

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Panopticon, 28th April 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Ipsa loses court of appeal challenge over MPs’ expenses – The Guardian

Posted April 28th, 2015 in appeals, disclosure, documents, expenses, freedom of information, news, parliament by sally

‘The regulatory body set up after the MPs’ expenses scandal has lost a test case challenge in the court of appeal against an order that it must release copies of receipts and invoices submitted by politicians.’

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The Guardian, 28th April 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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News focus: law and justice pledges – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The general election manifestos are in – here’s our quick-fire summary of their headline pledges on law and justice.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 20th April 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Searching questions in the CJEU: the East Sussex County Council case – Panopticon

Posted April 20th, 2015 in EC law, fees, freedom of information, housing, local government, news by sally

‘When local authorities provide property search information, can they charge for doing so? On what legal basis? How should such charges be calculated?’

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Panopticon, 17th April 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Law firms exploiting EU ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling to help individuals remove awkward newspaper articles from Google – The Independent

Posted April 20th, 2015 in EC law, freedom of information, internet, law firms, media, news, public interest by sally

‘Ambulance-chasing law firms are using the European Court’s ruling on the “right to be forgotten” to drum up business, leading to a rise in the number of newspaper articles being deleted from Google search results.’

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The Independent, 17th April 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Water companies are public authorities and must therefore disclose environmental information – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Water and sewage utility companies are “public authorities” for the purposes of the environmental information regulations, and are bound by them accordingly, the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal has ruled.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th April 2015

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Freedom of information: round-up – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Transparency and openness for local authorities does not just mean disclosing information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoI). Section 3 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 gives the secretary of state the power to issue a code of practice about the publication of information by local authorities relating to the discharge of their functions.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 13th April 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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R (on the application of Evans) and another (Respondents) v Attorney General (Appellant) – Supreme Court

R (on the application of Evans) and another (Respondents) v Attorney General (Appellant) [2015] UKSC 21 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 26th March 2015

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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Why we should see Andrew Lansley’s diary in the run up to 2011 NHS reforms – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Department of Health v. Information Commissioner et al [2015] UKUT 159, 30 March 2015, Charles J read judgment Simon Lewis requested that the Department of Health supply him with copies of the ministerial diary of Andrew Lansley from May 2010 until April 2011, via a Freedom of Information request. Mr Lewis’s interest in all this is not revealed in the judgment, but I dare say included seeing whether the Minister was being lobbied by private companies eager to muscle in on the NHS in this critical period. But such is the nature of FOIA litigation that it does not really look at the motive of the requester – and this case does not tell us what the diary showed. Indeed by the time of this appeal, Lewis was untraceable, and the burden of the argument in favour of disclosure was taken up by the Information Commissioner.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 10th April 2015

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Alison Young: R (Evans) v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21 – the Anisminic of the 21st Century? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘On Thursday 26th March the Supreme Court concluded, to the delight of The Guardian and the dismay of the Prime Minister, that communications between Prince Charles and government Ministers – the so-called ‘black spider memos’ – should be released. This has been a long saga, involving issues of freedom of information, discussion of constitutional conventions surrounding the behaviour of a Monarch in training, which now also includes the principle of legality and the nature of the relationship between parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. Such a cornucopia of delights for constitutional lawyers guarantees that the case has earned its place in the ‘Constitutional law Case list Hall of Fame’, with the promise of further delight as the memos, once released and savoured, cast an insight into the relationship between the Crown and the Government.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 31st March 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Untangling the spider’s web: Evans at the Supreme Court – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

‘On Friday, 27th March, the Supreme Court handed down a decision which will be as much of interest to public lawyers as information rights practitioners alike. Evans, a journalist for the Guardian newspaper utilised the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 to seek the disclosure of letters sent by Prince Charles to seven government departments between September 2004 and March 2005. The departments refused to disclose the letters (so-called “black spider” memos on account of the Prince’s handwriting) on the basis that they were exempt from doing so. In their view the letters represented private correspondence which effectively allowed the Prince to prepare for “kingship.” Evans subsequently complained to the Information Commissioner who upheld the refusal before appealing to the Information Tribunal. The Tribunal held that many of the letters should be disclosed as they constituted “advocacy correspondence.”’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 31st March 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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The Tale of the Black Spider: The Supreme Court speaks – UK Human Rights Blog

‘And so, the long legal saga of the Black Spider Letters finally comes to a close.

I last blogged about this case back in October 2012. At that time, the Attorney General had ignited controversy by invoking a little-known power under section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 27th March 2015

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Google and the DPA – RIP section 13(2) – Panopticon

Posted March 30th, 2015 in appeals, damages, data protection, freedom of information, internet, news, privacy by sally

‘Well, isn’t this an exciting week (and I don’t mean Zayn leaving One Direction)? First, Evans and now Vidal-Hall. We only need Dransfield to appear before Easter and there will be a full red bus analogy. Robin opened yesterday’s analysis of Evans by remarking on the sexiness of FOIA. If there is one thing you learn quickly as an information law practitioner, it is not to engage in a sexiness battle with Robin Hopkins. But high-profile though Evans is, the judgment in Vidal-Hall will be of far wider significance to anyone having to actually work in the field, rather than simply tuning every now and then to see the Supreme Court say something constitutional against a FOIA background. Vidal-Hall might not be the immediate head-turner, but it is probably going to be the life-changer for most of us. So, while still in the ‘friend zone’ with the Court of Appeal, before it all gets serious, it is important to explain what Vidal-Hall v Google [2015] EWCA Civ 311 does.’

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Panopticon, 27th March 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Why Evans gets the spiders – Panopticon

‘The Supreme Court’s judgment in R (Evans) v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21 has received vast amounts of media coverage – more in a single day than everything else about FOI has received in ten years, I reckon. No need to explain what the case was about – the upshot is that Rob Evans gets Prince Charles’ ‘black spider’ letters. Here’s why.’

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Panopticon, 26th March 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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