SRA ordered to disclose report into law firm investigation – Legal Futures

‘The Law Society’s freedom of information adjudicator has ordered the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to disclose an investigator’s report, saying the regulator had overlooked “the public interest in transparency as a good in itself”.’

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Legal Futures, 5th January 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Richard Clayton QC: New Directions for Article 10: Strasbourg Reverses the Supreme Court in Kennedy – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v Charity Commission was striking from many points of view. Mr Kennedy was a journalist frustrated by the way the Commission handled his allegations concerning George Galloway MP’s controversial Iraq charity, the Miriam Appeal. He applied for disclosure of documents under the Freedom of Information Act, arguing that a prohibition from disclosure under s 32 should be interpreted compatibly with Article 10, as required by s 3 of the HRA. However, the Supreme Court declined to follow the recent ECtHR case law, holding that Article 10 did not encompass a right of access to information, deprecating the parties’ failure to rely upon the common law right to information and disagreeing over the question of whether proportionality should replace Wednesbury unreasonableness: see my previous post on this here.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 13th December 2016

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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FOI rules should apply regardless of who provides public services, says Denham – OUT-LAW.com

Posted December 13th, 2016 in freedom of information, news, speeches by sally

‘Businesses should be subject to freedom of information (FOI) laws in the UK where they carry out public services on behalf of public bodies, the information commissioner has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 12th December 2016

Source: www.out-law.com

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Denying access to information can breach freedom of expression rights, rules human rights court – OUT-LAW.com

Posted November 17th, 2016 in freedom of expression, freedom of information, human rights, news by sally

‘Public bodies that deny requests for information can in some cases be held in breach of individuals’ freedom of expression rights, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 17th November 2016

Source: www.out-law.com

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Tribunal rejects FOI request over code of conduct complaints process – Local Government Lawyer

‘It is important that a council’s code of conduct complaints process remains confidential, the First-tier Tribunal has said in rejecting an appeal over the refusal of a freedom of information request.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 16th November 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Chilcot, Blair and FOIA – Panopticon

Posted November 16th, 2016 in freedom of information, inquiries, Iraq, news, tribunals by sally

‘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.’

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Panopticon, 10th November 2016

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Council wins appeal over commercial interests exemption and schools services – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 21st, 2016 in education, freedom of information, local government, news, pensions by sally

‘A borough council has won an appeal in the First-tier Tribunal against a decision notice of the Information Commissioner requiring disclosure of information relating to payroll and pension services provided by the authority to schools.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 20th October 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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UK court bars GMC from releasing report into doctor’s professional competence to patient on privacy grounds – OUT-LAW.com

‘A doctor has successfully prevented the General Medical Council (GMC) from disclosing a report concerning an investigation in his professional competence to one of his patients.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 4th October 2016

Source: www.out-law.com

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MoJ told to comply with jailed drug baron’s kosher food FoI demands – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted September 30th, 2016 in food, freedom of information, Judaism, Ministry of Justice, news, prisons by tracey

‘A man jailed for 25 years for his role in a drug-smuggling plot has scored a victory over the Ministry of Justice, which has been told it failed to carry out ‘reasonable research’ about imports of kosher food into prisons.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 28th September 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Rights group challenges FoI refusal in Libyan rendition case – The Guardian

‘A human rights group has challenged the government’s refusal to disclose whether ministers or Downing Street officials were involved in a decision not to prosecute anyone over an espionage operation to kidnap two Libyan dissidents.’

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The Guardian, 21st August 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Threefold rise in number of sex offences in schools reported to police – The Guardian

‘The number of sex offences in schools reported to police has almost trebled in four years, a study has shown.’

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The Guardian, 8th August 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Protecting Public Officials and Corporates – Q&A – 5RB

‘Adam Speker and Felicity McMahon are running a session on “Protecting Public Officials and Corporates” at Conference5RB on 29 September 2016. Here they discuss some of the issues which will be explored.’

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5RB, 7th July 2016

Source: www.5rb.com

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Media call for LEPs to be made subject to local government transparency rules – Local Government Lawyer

Posted July 11th, 2016 in freedom of information, local government, news by sally

‘Local Enterprise Partnerships must be covered by local government transparency rules and the Freedom of Information Act “to prevent billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being hidden from public scrutiny”, media organisations have argued.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 8th July 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Tribunal backs refusal by transport body to disclose 2005 legal opinion – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 28th, 2016 in disclosure, freedom of information, news, transport, tribunals by sally

‘The First-tier Tribunal has upheld a transport body’s refusal to disclose, following a freedom of information request, advice given by counsel in 2005.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th June 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Battle to stop Jack Straw facing Libya rendition charges – The Guardian

‘The government has spent at least £600,000 of taxpayers’ money trying to prevent a civil case being brought against it by a husband and wife who allege that British intelligence was complicit in their detention, rendition and torture.’

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The Guardian, 26th June 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Hold Me Close, I’m an Academic – Panopticon

‘If I am an extremely well-regarded academic at Cambridge (don’t snigger at the back, I could be) and due to my eminence I do some unpaid voluntary work for a major international group (here, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change), the work in relation to which I do over my university email account, are those emails held by the University under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“EIR”)?’

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Panopticon, 10th June 2016

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Home Office refuses to reveal whether women in Yarl’s Wood have been raped in case it ‘damages the commercial interests’ of companies – The Independent

‘Last year, the chief prisons inspector called Yarl’s Wood ‘a place of national concern’ following concerns over alleged sexual abuse and intimidation of women detained there.’

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The Independent, 13th June 2016

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Suicides of benefit claimants reveal DWP flaws, says inquiry – The Guardian

‘A series of secret internal inquiries into the deaths of people claiming social security reveal that ministers were repeatedly warned of shortcomings in the treatment of vulnerable claimants facing potentially traumatic cuts to their benefits entitlements.’

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The Guardian, 13th May 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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A judge-shaming list is bad for justice – The Guardian

‘Judges shouldn’t be frightened to set precedents. A list of those that have “gone too far” – including over a Guardian freedom of information request on the Prince of Wales’s letters – risks deterring justice.’

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The Guardian, 12th May 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Freedom of information lives on – OUP Blog

Posted May 10th, 2016 in freedom of information, news, reports by sally

‘The Freedom of Information Act is here to stay. At any rate for the time being. That is the good news implicit in the statement on 1 March 2016 by Matt Hancock, the UK Cabinet Office Minister, that, “this government is committed to making government more transparent”.’

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OUP Blog, 10th May 2016

Source: http://blog.oup.com

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