Four fold increase in fines under ‘busybody charter’ – Daily Telegraph

‘A four-fold increase in the number of fines issued under the “busybody charter” has been described as “utterly alarming”, with councils cracking down on activities such as feeding birds, walking dogs and playing loud bhangra music.’

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Daily Telegraph, 31st July 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Dog attack powers ‘not being used’ – BBC News

‘Powers introduced to curb dog attacks are not being used by the authorities, a Freedom of Information request by the Victoria Derbyshire show suggests.’

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BBC News, 24th July 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

UK’s refusal to reveal legal advice on drone killings faces challenge – The Guardian

‘Campaigners appeal against ruling that government can keep advice secret because it relates to security agencies.’

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The Guardian, 20th July 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Proposals to make free movement of data a principle of EU law expected this autumn – OUT-LAW.com

Posted July 19th, 2017 in data protection, EC law, freedom of information, internet, news, speeches by sally

‘The free movement of non-personal data is to be enshrined in EU law, the commissioner for the digital single market Andrus Ansip has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 18th July 2017

Source: www.out-law.com

Information law: when something is “on” an environmental measure – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted July 3rd, 2017 in electricity, environmental protection, freedom of information, news by tracey

‘Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy v. Information Commissioner and Henney [2017] EWCA Civ 844. As many will know, there are two different systems of freedom of information, the first and better known, the Freedom for Information Act 2000, and the second, the Environmental Information Regulations 2009. From the perspective of the inquirer (Mr Henney, here), the EIRs are the more favourable, and it was the differences between the systems which gave rise to this long-running dispute to do with energy Smart Meters.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 30th June 2017

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Don’t mention the bigger picture – Panopticon

‘The definition of ‘environmental information’ is notoriously wide. Notorious too is the difficulty of applying it and the lack of binding authority on how to go about the task.’

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Panopticon, 29th June 2017

Source: panopticonblog.com

Subject access requests: revised guidance from the ICO – Panopticon

Posted June 21st, 2017 in codes of practice, data protection, freedom of information, news by sally

‘As Panopticon devotees will know, the early months of 2017 brought a flurry of judgments about subject access requests – most importantly, in the Dawson-Damer and Ittihadieh/Deer cases. The principles from those judgments have now been incorporated into a revised ICO Code of Practice on subject access requests, published last week. The revised Code is important not only because it reflects up-to-date caselaw, but also because it tells us how the ICO expects to see subject access requests dealt with in practice.’

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Panopticon, 20th June 2017

Source: panopticonblog.com

Diary of a Wimpy Minister – Panopticon

‘A mere three years ago, the FTT held that the Ministerial Diary of Andrew Lansley was relevantly held under FOIA and was not exempt under section 35(1)(b). Now the Court of Appeal has held, in Department of Health v Information Commissioner & Lewis [2017] EWCA Civ 374, that the FTT made no error. The fact that no-one can now remember who Andrew Lansley was (now Lord Lansley CBE thank you) or why anyone would care, is by-the-by.’

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Panopticon, 25th May 2017

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

Government fails to block release of Andrew Lansley diary portions – The Guardian

‘Court rules in favour of journalist Simon Lewis who made FoI request to see diary passages from period of health reforms.’

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The Guardian, 24th May 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Specialised court encourages boom in IP cases – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Small and medium-sized enterprises are continuing to use the UK’s specialised intellectual property court despite having more options available for flexible trials, figures have shown.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 23rd May 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Freedom of Information Act document leaks could become criminal – The Guardian

‘Whistleblowers and journalists could be imprisoned for revealing documents that can be obtained through freedom of information requests, campaigners have warned.’

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The Guardian, 14th May 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Council wins right to redact more info from variation agreement to waste contract – Local Government Lawyer

‘A county council has won an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal over a decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office that it was not entitled to redact certain information in a variation agreement to a waste disposal contract.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 24th April 2017

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Thousands of domestic violence victims withdrawing from legal action after Government cuts, figures reveal – The Independent

‘More than 160,000 victims of domestic violence in England withdrew their support for charges against their abusers in 2016, a number that rocketed by almost 40 per cent compared with the previous 12 months, exclusive figures reveal.’

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The Independent, 9th April 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Parking fine appeal success varies between council areas – BBC News

‘The likelihood of successfully challenging parking fines varies widely depending on where drivers get a ticket, research has shown.’

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BBC News, 5th April 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Dozens of crimes against MPs reported – BBC News

‘A police team created to handle crimes against MPs has dealt with 53 complaints since the murder of Jo Cox.’

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BBC News, 19th March 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Sexual harassment ‘at epidemic levels’ in UK universities – The Guardian

‘Almost 300 claims against staff have been made in six years, but victims and lawyers say those are just tip of iceberg.’

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The Guardian, 5th March 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Thousands spent on judges’ security amid growing hostility – The Guardian

‘Ministry of Justice says security was upgraded at judges’ homes, with figures showing many in judiciary fear for safety.’

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The Guardian, 27th February 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Why pass FOI laws? The politics of freedom of information – The Constitution Unit

Posted February 22nd, 2017 in foreign jurisdictions, freedom of information, legislation, news by sally

‘Why are there now more than 100 freedom of information laws around the world, even though they help opponents and hinder governments? In a new book, published this month by Manchester University Press, Ben Worthy investigates. He concludes that the main reason is that as a symbolic pledge in opposition FOI laws are hard to resist. Once in power these promises are hard to back down from, though experience suggests that proposed laws are often watered down before being enacted. These findings are summarised here.’

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The Constitution Unit, 16th February 2017

Source: www.constitution-unit.com

Police pay out at least £22m to informants in five years – BBC News

Posted February 8th, 2017 in freedom of information, informers, news, police, remuneration, statistics by tracey

‘Police forces across the UK paid out at least £22m to informants over the last five years, according to figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 live.’

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BBC News, 8th February 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

‘Fake news’ inquiry opened by MPs – OUT-LAW.com

‘A UK parliamentary committee has opened an inquiry into so-called ‘fake news’.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 31st January 2017

Source: www.out-law.com