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Information law

Information law is becoming an increasingly important part of a citizen’s rights which has recently been brought into the public eye in the cases involving MPs expenses and the Cabinet documents relating to the Iraq war.

We act for individuals in relation in requests for personal information, made under the Data Protection Act, held in relation to them by bodies.

We also act for individuals and campaigning groups in relation to requests for official information, made under the Freedom of Information Act and / or the Environmental Information Regulations, held by public authorities.

In addition, we act in judicial review challenges, complaints to the Information Commissioner and appeals to the Information Commissioner in relation to the inappropriate refusal of these bodies to release the information requested.

We also act for individuals in cases where bodies have inappropriately released personal information without the person’s consent to third parties (so-called breach of confidence cases).

Examples of recent successes include:

  • Acting for Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome Help (HUSH), an E. coli 0157 food poisoning charity, in relation to the Food Standards Agency’s refusal to release information and failure to consult with regard to proposed changes to guidance on the time and temperature needed for the safe cooking of burgers;
  • Acting for an individual in a successful claim for compensation for breach of confidence against an NHS Trust in relation to the unauthorised disclosure of extremely sensitive confidential medical information, without her knowledge or permission, to the person’s family causing permanent estrangement from family and psychiatric injury.
  • Acting for Campaign Against Arms Trade in an appeal to the Information Tribunal following the MOD’s refusal to disclose copies of the underlying contractual documents from the Al Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.  We successfully secured the appointment of a Special Advocate to represent the client in the closed parts of the hearing.

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