Kerry Underwood


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Here I look at Upper Tribunal decisions, that is decisions on appeal, in relation to Information Rights.

All of the information in all of these posts is taken directly from the Senior President of Tribunals’ Annual Report 2020, which is an invaluable and free resource dealing with all aspect of the work of tribunals as well as setting out these summaries of key cases.

The whole report can be accessed here.

Administrative Appeals Chamber: Information Rights

[2019] UKUT 185 (AAC)Davies v 1. The Information Commissioner; 2. The Cabinet Office (GIA)Information RightsThe Upper Tribunal considered Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act, the standard of reasons required for a decision as to the reasonableness of the qualified person’s opinion and the duty of a tribunal to give closed reasons where the required standard of reasons cannot be met in open. It gave guidance as to the duty of tribunals to address the principal issues raised in closed proceedings even where the issues were subsequently agreed by those privy to the closed proceedings. The Upper Tribunal remade the decision in this case, finding that the qualified person’s opinion was not reasonable and, in any event, the public interest favoured disclosure.  

[2019] UKUT 247 (AAC)Vesco v (1) Information Commissioner and (2) Government Legal DepartmentInformation RightsThe Upper Tribunal considered an appeal concerning a request for environmental information within the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“EIRs”) which implement obligations under EU Council Directive 2003/4/EC which in turn falls to be interpreted in accordance with the Aarhus Convention. It decided that the First-tier Tribunal erred in law by failing to apply all applicable tests under Regulation 12 of the EIRs.  

[2019] UKUT 269 (AAC)Sygulska v (1) The Information Commissioner (2) The Ministry of DefenceInformation RightsThe Upper Tribunal decided that the First-tier Tribunal had not erred in law in deciding that disclosure of Second World War service records would be unfair under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and that condition 6(1) of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) was not satisfied. In the absence of proof of death such as a death certificate or equivalent document, the Ministry of Defence was entitled to ask for and receive a declaration of death from the relevant legal authorities before disclosing a serviceman’s record unless 116 years had passed since his date of birth.  

Written by kerryunderwood

August 20, 2020 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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