Environmental Law News Update – Six Pump Court

Posted November 26th, 2019 in disclosure, environmental protection, freedom of information, news, privilege by sally

‘In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Christopher Badger considers a successful appeal for the disclosure of privileged instructions to Counsel under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, the adoption of legislative reforms on sustainable finance and investments by the European Council and Greenpeace claims that the UK will miss environmental targets for 2020 and beyond.’

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Six Pump Court, 19th November 2019

Source: www.6pumpcourt.co.uk

Police officers illicitly access police computers including checks on a partner’s criminal record – Daily Telegraph

‘Hundreds of police officers and staff have illicitly accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners. Freedom of Information requests show 237 officers and staff have been disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years.’

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Daily Telegraph, 7th November 2019

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Tribunal orders council to disclose instructions sent to QC over motion for ‘call-in’ of planning applications – Local Government Lawyer

Posted November 4th, 2019 in disclosure, freedom of information, news, planning, privilege by sally

‘The First-tier Tribunal has ordered Ryedale District Council to disclose the briefing question it sent to a Queen’s Counsel seeking advice on a motion in which councillors sought for competing retail planning applications to be ‘called in’.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st November 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Upper Tribunal orders fresh hearing in dispute over refusal by council to disclose advice of independent person – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 31st, 2019 in complaints, disclosure, freedom of information, local government, news, planning by sally

‘A local resident who complained about the conduct of a councillor at Stratford-on-Avon District Council over a planning matter has secured a fresh hearing over the council’s refusal to disclose advice given by an independent person.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 31st October 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

When to assess the public interest in a FOIA request? Four years ago says Upper Tribunal in Maurizi – Panopticon

Posted October 24th, 2019 in Crown Prosecution Service, freedom of information, news, public interest by sally

‘For four years, Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has been fighting a FOIA battle for the release of correspondence held by the CPS concerning Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.’

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Panopticon, 23rd October 2019

Source: panopticonblog.com

Counter-terror police running secret Prevent database – The Guardian

Posted October 8th, 2019 in case management, crime prevention, freedom of information, news, police, terrorism by tracey

‘Counter-terror police across the UK have been running a secret database containing details of thousands of individuals referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, the Guardian can reveal.’

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The Guardian, 6th October 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

Alison Berridge, Alexandra Littlewood and Ciar McAndrew: Freedom of Information Journal – Recent decisions of the Commissioner and Tribunal – Monckton Chambers

‘Alison Berridge, Alexandra Littlewood and Ciar McAndrew, public law barristers at Monckton Chambers, highlight the points of interest from April-June decisions of the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals.’

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Monckton Chambers, 20th August 2019

Source: www.monckton.com

Fake NHS psychiatrist ‘medicated at least 160 patients’ – The Independent

Posted July 25th, 2019 in fraud, freedom of information, news, psychiatrists, theft, vetting by tracey

‘GMC apologises for “inadequate” checks after bogus doctor practised for 22 years.’

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The Independent, 24th July 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Home Office accused of covering up plight of hundreds of trafficking victims wrongly detained in immigration centres – The Independent

‘The Home Office has been accused of covering up the plight of hundreds of modern slavery victims after it was forced to disclose data it previously claimed to have “no record” of.’

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The Independent, 16th July 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

FOI requests to 20 councils found more than half did not prosecute single letting agent over four-year period, landlords group claims – Local Government Lawyer

‘Local authorities are failing in their duty to prosecute rogue letting agents, the National Landlords Association has claimed after its research found that more than half of 20 councils did not prosecute a single letting agent in the four-year period from 2014/15 to 2017/18.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 4th July 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The end of the line for Kennedy v Charity Commission – Panopticon

‘The background, as you may recall, is that Mr Kennedy, a Times journalist, was trying to get information out of the Charity Commission in connection with the ‘Mariam Appeal’, a fund set up by George Galloway MP for the purposes of supporting Iraqi children suffering from leukaemia. Mr Kennedy wanted to get hold of the information in connection with an investigation he was conducting into whether monies collected under the name of Mariam’s Appeal had been misused. Mr Kennedy made a FOIA request to the Charity Commission, which had conducted an investigation into Mariam’s Appeal. Mr Kennedy’s request was refused on the basis that the information requested fell within the scope of s. 32 FOIA (absolute exemption concerning court records).’

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Panopticon, 18th March 2019

Source: panopticonblog.com

Personal Data in the Upper Tribunal – Panopticon

Posted March 4th, 2019 in data protection, disclosure, freedom of information, news by sally

‘We all love nuggets, be they of gold or chicken. A couple of short recent Upper Tribunal judgments reached under FOIA may not be finger-lickin’ good, but are nonetheless worthy noting as a tasty morsel or two.In Information Commissioner v Halpin [2019] UKUT 29 (AAC) Judge Markus QC overturned an FTT decision which had held that personal data was not exempt under section 40(2) FOIA. She explained that the FTT had erred in declining to have regard to the possibility of wider disclosure to the world beyond the requestor – because the public authority would no longer have any control over the information once released – such that it had failed properly to balance the competing interests and effects of disclosure. This was a point made in GR-N v Information Commissioner & NMC [2015] UKUT 449 (AAC) and applied since. The requestor’s private motives were sufficient to form a legitimate interest, but did not form a justification for disclosure to the world at large. The FTT had also erred in failing to address the core concern of the public authority, that disclosure would lead to inappropriate complaints against or other targeting of the particular data subjects causing them stress. It was no answer to that to say that the authority had procedures to address complaints: the point was not that the complaints would be upheld but that they would have to be dealt with when they would not have been without disclosure.’

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Panopticon, 28th February 2019

Source: panopticonblog.com

Confidentiality – Panopticon

‘Two recent decisions of the FTT on confidential information are of interest, one under FoIA, the other under the EIR, with a local authority being the public authority in both cases.’

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Panopticon, 7th February 2019

Source: panopticonblog.com

Watchdog wants public sector contractors subject to FOI laws – OUT-LAW.com

Posted February 4th, 2019 in contracting out, freedom of information, news, public procurement by sally

‘Freedom of information (FOI) laws should be updated to account for the risks to transparency and accountability in the performance of public services where they are outsourced to businesses, the UK’s information commissioner has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 1st February 2019

Source: www.out-law.com

Information Commissioner calls for FOIA and EIR reform to address outsourcing – Local Government Lawyer

Posted January 29th, 2019 in contracting out, environmental protection, freedom of information, news by sally

‘The Information Commissioner has called for the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) to be updated to include organisations providing a public function.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 28th January 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

s35 FOIA Updates from the Upper Tribunal – Panopticon

‘A couple of recent Upper Tribunal cases have been handed down on the section 35(1) FOIA exemption for the formulation or development of government policy and for Ministerial communications. Both concern documents produced at the highest levels of Government. Both nudge the jurisprudence on a little bit, and both are worth being aware of for those concerned.’

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Panoptiocn, 14th January 2018

Source: panopticonblog.com

Exposing rogue landlords: ‘The deck feels stacked against tenants’ – The Guardian

‘Simon Goodley explains how the Guardian uncovered the secret world of convicted landlords who continue to operate – and exploit – with impunity.’

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The Guardian, 8th December 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Barrister wins right to see reports his bank made to police – Legal Futures

Posted October 11th, 2018 in banking, barristers, freedom of information, money laundering, news, police by sally

‘A barrister has won the right to see suspicious activity reports (SARs) that his bank made to the National Crime Agency (NCA) about money received into his accounts.’

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Legal Futures, 10th October 2018

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Abuse victims increasingly denied right to stay in UK – The Guardian

‘The refusal rate for people applying to stay in the UK after suffering domestic violence more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 after the government pledged to make the UK a “hostile environment for illegal immigrants”.’

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The Guardian, 16th August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Inmate given 57p in compensation after his magazine was damaged by prison staff – Daily Telegraph

Posted August 13th, 2018 in compensation, freedom of information, news, prisons by sally

‘A prisoner was reimbursed 57 pence as compensation after a magazine they owned was lost or damaged by prison staff, as new figures reveal that over £1 million has been given out to convicts for lost property over the past five years.’

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Daily Telegraph, 13th August 2018

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk