If either a complainant or a public authority is unhappy with a decision of the Information Commissioner or the Scottish Information Commissioner, they can appeal the decision through the courts. The precise appeal route depends on the commissioner in question.
Appeals against decisions of the Information Commissioner go to the First-Tier Tribunal (previously known as the Information Tribunal) or the Upper Tribunal by virtue of section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as amended by SI 2010/22. Such cases are assigned to the General Regulatory Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal by SI 2010/2655. Cases can be transferred to the Upper Tribunal under rule 19 of SI 2009/1976 (as amended by SI 2010/43).
Appeals against decisions of the First Tier Tribunal go to the Upper Tribunal by virtue of section 11 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Such appeals are assigned to the Administrative Appeals Chamber by SI 2010/2655.
Appeals against decisions of the Upper Tribunal go to the Court of Appeal in England and Wales, the Court of Session, or the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, as appropriate, by virtue of section 13 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Appeals from each of those courts go to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by virtue of section 40 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and section 42 of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978.
Obsolete appeal routes
Before 16th January 2010, the appeal routes were rather different. The first stage was always to the Information Tribunal by virtue of section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but from there section 59 directed appeals three ways, to the High Court of Justice in England, the Court of Session, or the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland. Appeals from the two High Courts was then to the respective Courts of Appeal and thence (or from the Court of Session) to the Supreme Court (or before that, the House of Lords).
Appeals against decisions of the Scottish Information Commissioner go straight to the Court of Session under section 56 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and thereafter to the Supreme Court.