Disclosure of Information in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Norwich Pharmacal Company v Commissioners of Customs and Excise
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Jun 1973

    They seem to me to point to a very reasonable principle that if through no fault of his own a person gets mixed up in the tortious acts of others so as to facilitate their wrong-doing he may incur no personal liability but he comes under a duty to assist the person who has been wronged by giving him full information and disclosing the identity of the wrongdoers.

  • D. (Married Woman) (Respondent) v National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (Appellants)
    • House of Lords
    • 02 Feb 1977

    By the uniform practice of the judges which by the time of Marks v. Beyfus had already hardened into a rule of law, the balance has fallen upon the side of non-disclosure except where upon the trial of a defendant for a criminal offence, disclosure of the identity of the informer could help to show that the defendant was innocent of the offence. In that case, and in that case only, the balance falls upon the side of disclosure.

  • Initial Services Ltd v Putterill
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 Jun 1967

    The disclosure must, I should think, be to one who has a proper interest to receive the information. Thus it would be proper to disclose a crime to the police; or a breach of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act to the Registrar. There may be cases where the misdeed is of such a character that the public interest may demand, or at least excuse, publication on a broader field, even to the Press.

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

    It is that, although the basis of the law's protection of confidence is that there is a public interest that confidences should be preserved and protected by the law, nevertheless that public interest may be outweighed by some other countervailing public interest which favours disclosure.

  • Karen Kilraine v London Borough of Wandsworth
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 Jun 2018

    In order for a statement or disclosure to be a qualifying disclosure according to this language, it has to have a sufficient factual content and specificity such as is capable of tending to show one of the matters listed in subsection (1). The statements in the solicitors' letter in Cavendish Munro did not meet that standard.

  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Simms
    • House of Lords
    • 08 Jul 1999

    Fundamental rights cannot be overridden by general or ambiguous words. This is because there is too great a risk that the full implications of their unqualified meaning may have passed unnoticed in the democratic process. In the absence of express language or necessary implication to the contrary, the courts therefore presume that even the most general words were intended to be subject to the basic rights of the individual.

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