Freedom of Information in UK Law

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Leading Cases
  • British Broadcasting Corporation and another v Sugar (No 2)
    • Supreme Court
    • 15 Feb 2012

    In my judgment these three cases fall far short of establishing that an individual's article 10(1) freedom to receive information is interfered with whenever, as in the present case, a public authority, acting consistently with the domestic legislation governing the nature and extent of its obligations to disclose information, refuses access to documents.

  • Common Services Agency v Scottish Information Commissioner (Scotland)
    • House of Lords
    • 09 Jul 2008

    But that proposition must not be applied too widely, without regard to the way the Act was designed to operate in conjunction with DPA 1998. So while the entitlement to information is expressed initially in the broadest terms that are imaginable, it is qualified in respects that are equally significant and to which appropriate weight must also be given. The scope and nature of the various exemptions plays a key role within the Act's complex analytical framework.

  • Kennedy v Information Commissioner and another (Secretary of State for Justice and Others intervening) [SC]
    • Supreme Court
    • 26 Mar 2014

    Information is the key to sound decision-making, to accountability and development; it underpins democracy and assists in combatting poverty, oppression, corruption, prejudice and inefficiency. Administrators, judges, arbitrators, and persons conducting inquiries and investigations depend upon it; likewise the press, NGOs and individuals concerned to report on issues of public interest. These competing considerations, and the balance between them, lie behind the issues on this appeal.

    The Freedom of Information Act 2000 was a landmark enactment of great constitutional significance for the United Kingdom. It introduced a new regime governing the disclosure of information held by public authorities. It created a prima facie right to the disclosure of all such information, save insofar as that right was qualified by the terms of the Act or the information in question was exempt.

  • Between: Steven Sugar (appellant) (1)the British Broadcasting Commission (respondents) (2) The Information Commissioner
    • Court of Appeal
    • 23 Jun 2010

    In my view, whatever meaning is given to “journalism” I would not be sympathetic to the notion that information about, for instance, advertising revenue, property ownership or outgoings, financial debt, and the like would normally be “held for purposes … of journalism”. No doubt there can be said to be a link between such information and journalism: the more that is spent on wages, rent or interest payments, the less there is for programmes.

  • R v David Michael Shayler
    • House of Lords
    • 21 Mar 2002

    "Necessary" has been strongly interpreted: it is not synonymous with "indispensable" neither has it the flexibility of such expressions as "admissible" "ordinary" "useful" "reasonable" or "desirable": Handyside v United Kingdom (1976) 1 EHRR 737, 754, para 48.

  • Office of Government Commerce v Information Commissioner
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 11 Abr 2008

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