Sir Cliff Richard’s privacy was ‘violated’ by police deal with BBC, report claims – Daily Telegraph

Posted February 24th, 2015 in BBC, freedom of information, media, news, police, privacy, reports by sally

‘A damning report has alleged that ‘incompetent’ police chiefs violated Sir Cliff Richard’s privacy by disclosing details of a raid on his home to the BBC’

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Daily Telegraph, 23rd February 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Quite like a whale – Panopticon

‘As my colleague Robin Hopkins has warned, the decision of the Upper Tribunal in Fish Legal looks like a pretty big beast: sixty pages on whether water companies are public authorities for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations, applying the CJEU’s lengthy ruling on the points of principle (for which, see this post by Chris Knight).’

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Panopticon, 24th February 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Down the Rabbit Hole – Late Reliance under FOIA – Panopticon

Posted February 16th, 2015 in case management, freedom of information, news, tribunals by sally

‘Says the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, “Oh my furry whiskers, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” Although the application of FOIA may sometimes feel like Wonderland, the feeling it induces is normally more akin to turning up unexpectedly at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (although attributing FTT judicial figures to the characters of the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse is beyond me). But one thing that has, since Birkett v DEFRA [2011] EWCA Civ 1606, not generally proved very controversial is the question of late reliance on exemptions; the White Rabbit need have little fear. Birkett made clear that late (usually after the DN and in the course of litigation before the FTT) reliance on substantive exemptions is permissible, subject to case management powers, under the EIR. The unappealed equivalent decision under FOIA, Information Commissioner v Home Office [2011] UKUT 17 (AAC), has generally been assumed to be correct.’

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Panopticon, 15th February 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Data protection laws broken 13 times by Companies House – BBC News

Posted February 16th, 2015 in data protection, freedom of information, news by sally

‘Confidential and personal details were sent to the wrong people by staff at Companies House in Cardiff, BBC Wales has learned.’

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BBC News, 14th February 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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The Algebra of FOIA – Panopticon

Posted February 9th, 2015 in disclosure, freedom of information, news, public interest, tribunals by sally

‘It is no matter of Euclidian geometry to say that where x + y = z, and z = 13, being told what y equals one need not be Pythagoras to establish the value of x. But what happens when z is in the public domain, x is absolutely exempt information under FOIA (because it is caught by section 23(1)) and the public interest otherwise favours the disclosure of y, which is not the subject of an exemption? Inevitably, the effect of disclosure is that the absolutely exempt information is also revealed. The Interim Decision of the Upper Tribunal in Home Office v ICO & Cobain [2014] UKUT 306 (AAC) was that the Tribunal had to consider whether it was appropriate to utilise the section 50(4) FOIA power so as not to direct disclosure. The issue may be formulaic, but the answer is not.’

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Panopticon, 6th February 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Britain open to terrorist drone attacks due to lax aviation rules, experts fear – The Independent

Posted January 26th, 2015 in aircraft, bills, disclosure, enforcement, freedom of information, news, terrorism by sally

‘Terrorists could use swarms of drones to bring down passenger aircraft, disperse chemical or biological weapons and target a nuclear power plants in Britain because of our lax aviation rules.’

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The Independent, 23rd January 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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How to apply the DPA – Panopticon

Posted January 16th, 2015 in data protection, disclosure, freedom of information, necessity, news by sally

‘Section 40 of FOIA is where the Freedom of Information Act (mantra: disclose, please) intersects with the Data Protection Act 1998 (mantra: be careful how you process/disclose, please).’

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Panopticon, 15th January 2015

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Police stole identities of dead children as old as 17 – Daily Telegraph

Posted January 7th, 2015 in children, freedom of information, identity fraud, news, police by tracey

‘The identities of dead teenagers as old as 17 were stolen by undercover police officers, according to figures released by Scotland Yard after an MP’s near two-year battle to expose the information.’

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Daily Telegraph, 6th January 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Prince Charles letters row: Supreme Court to hear case – BBC News

Posted November 24th, 2014 in confidentiality, disclosure, freedom of information, news, royal family, veto by sally

‘The Supreme Court is set to consider whether letters from Prince Charles to the government should be made public.’

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BBC News, 24th November 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Public access to local authority information: transparency with teeth – Panopticon

Posted November 21st, 2014 in documents, freedom of information, local government, news, planning by tracey

‘The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations are the dominant statutory regimes for public transparency, but they are of course not the only ones. A good example is the regime under the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), particularly sections 100A-K. Those provisions govern public access to local authority meetings, as well as the public availability of minutes, reports, background documents and so on for such meetings, subject to provisions for exempt information (Schedule 12A). A recent judgment of the Admin Court (Cranston J) in a planning matter, Joicey v Northumberland County Council [2014] EWHC 3657 (Admin) illustrates the importance of compliance with that regime for public access to information.’

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Panopticon, 20th November 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Government on Trial – BBC Law in Action

‘The Appeal Court has allowed a Libyan man to proceed with legal action against the British government, despite the government’s claim that the case could damage relations with the United States. Joshua Rozenberg discusses the implications.’

Listen

BBC Law in Action, 4th November 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Tribunal rejects call by FOI requester for names of legal advisors at care regulator – Local Government Lawyer

Posted November 5th, 2014 in care workers, disclosure, freedom of information, news, tribunals by sally

‘The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has upheld the Care Quality Commission’s refusal to supply the names of individuals who provided it with legal advice on the de-registration of a care agency.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 5th November 2014

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Good Things Come to Those Who (Have Inherent) Weight – Panopticon

Posted October 30th, 2014 in appeals, disclosure, freedom of information, news, public interest, tribunals by sally

‘Philosophically, everything must have an inherent weight. Otherwise it would have no weight at all. But FOIA is not concerned with philosophy; it is much more concerned with who is in charge of the sheep dip, and indeed the levels of public funding for the sheep being dipped. (No points for spotting that reference, Bruce.) As a result, there are often debates in the FOIA case law about whether a particular qualified exemption contains an inherent weight, i.e. is the fact that the exemption is engaged at all sufficient to place some weight in the public interest balance against disclosure? The answer varies according to the particular exemption.’

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Panopticon, 29th October 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Strack v European Commission – WLR Daily

Posted October 7th, 2014 in documents, EC law, freedom of information, law reports, proportionality by sally

Strack v European Commission (Case C‑127/13 P) ECLI:EU:C:2014:2250; [2014] WLR (D) 40

‘An institution of the European Union could, in exceptional circumstances, refuse access to certain documents on the ground that the workload relating to their disclosure would be disproportionate as compared to the objectives set by the application for access to those documents. However, reliance on the principle of proportionality could not allow the time-limits laid down by Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ 2001 L145, p 43) to be changed without creating a situation of legal uncertainty.’

WLR Daily, 2nd October 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Legal Update: disclosure, formats and context – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Disclosure of information about children, pursuant to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoI), is always a difficult issue and the natural reaction of public authorities is to err on the side of caution.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 1st September 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Judges could hear information rights tribunal cases on their own – OUT-LAW.com

‘Judges could determine the outcome of some information rights tribunal cases on their own in future under just-published proposals.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 19th August 2014

Source: www.out-law.com

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Accountant’s reports safe from public exposure after FoI ruling – Legal Futures

‘The Law Society’s freedom of information adjudicator has rejected a bid to open up public access to accountant’s reports submitted to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.’

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Legal Futures, 20th August 2014

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Evidence during FOI disputes can be provided in secret, rules Court of Appeal – OUT-LAW.com

‘Public bodies defending a decision to withhold information requested under freedom of information (FOI) laws can submit evidence to an information rights tribunal in secret, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 4th August 2014

Source: www.out-law.com

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Innes v Information Commissioner and another – WLR Daily

Innes v Information Commissioner and another [2014] EWCA 1086; [2014] WLR (D) 358

‘Under section 11(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 a claimant requesting information under section 1(1) of the 2000 Act was entitled to stipulate what software format should be used when the information sought was provided to him.’

WLR Daily, 31st July 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Requests for FOI disclosures in particular formats must generally be adhered to, rules Court of Appeal – OUT-LAW.com

Posted August 4th, 2014 in appeals, disclosure, freedom of information, interpretation, news by sally

‘Public bodies must generally adhere to individuals’ requests for information to be provided in a specific electronic format under freedom of information (FOI) laws, the Court of Appeal in London has ruled.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 1st August 2014

Source: www.out-law.com

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