Information in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Seager v Copydex Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 April 1967

    It depends on the broad principle of equity that he who has received information in confidence shall not take unfair advantage of it. He must not make use of it to the prejudice of him who gave it without obtaining his consent. He should go to the public source and get it: or, at any rate, not be in a better position than if he had gone to the public source. He should not get a start over others by using the information which he received in confidence.

  • Attorney General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd and Others (No. 2)
    • House of Lords
    • 13 October 1988

    I start with the broad general principle (which I do not intend in any way to be definitive) that a duty of confidence arises when confidential information comes to the knowledge of a person (the confidant) in circumstances where he has notice, or is held to have agreed, that the information is confidential, with the effect that it would be just in all the circumstances that he should be precluded from disclosing the information to others.

    I recognise that a case where the confider himself publishes the information might be distinguished from other cases on the basis that the confider, by publishing the information, may have implicitly released the confidant from his obligation.

  • Faccenda Chicken Ltd v Fowler
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 December 1985

    First there is information which, because of its trivial character or its easy accessibility from public sources of information, cannot be regarded by reasonable persons or by the law as confidential at all. ' The servant is at liberty to impart it during his service or afterwards to anyone he pleases, even his master's competitor.

  • R v Chief Constable of North Wales Police and Others, ex parte AB and Another
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 March 1998

    He agreed that there are cases where it would be desirable, so as to ensure as far as possible that the police are acting on accurate information and so as to ensure the necessary degree of fairness, to afford individuals in the position of the applicants some opportunity to comment. In determining what should be done the overriding priority must remain to protect the public, particularly children and other vulnerable people.

    However, in doing this, it must be remembered that the decision to which the police have to come as to whether or not to disclose the identity of paedophiles to members of the public, is a highly sensitive one. Disclosure should only be made when there is a pressing need for that disclosure. Before reaching their decision as to whether to disclose the police require as much information as can reasonably practicably obtained in the circumstances.

  • R (X) v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 July 2004

    It follows also, that as long as the Chief Constable was entitled to form the opinion that the information disclosed might be relevant, then absent any untoward circumstance which is not present here, it is difficult to see that there can be any reason why the information that "might be relevant", ought not to be included in the certificate.

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