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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50073646
  • Date: 5 June 2007
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Justice
  • Summary: The Complainant requested information from the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) in relation to a complaint he had made to the Lord Chancellor about a judge. The DCA supplied some of the information it held in relation to the request in order to comply with the complainant’s right of subject access under the Data Protection Act 1998, in addition to some other information. However, it withheld the remaining information, stating that it was exempt from disclosure under the Act. Different exemptions were applied to various aspects of the information depending upon its subject matter: Section 32 – Court Records, Section 36 – Prejudice to Effective Conduct of Public Affairs, Section 40 – Personal Information, Section 41 – Information Provided in Confidence, Section 42 – Legal Professional Privilege. However, the DCA informed the complainant that some of the withheld information had previously been supplied to him by virtue of him being a party to various court cases and him having made complaints to it about the conduct of a judge. It therefore additionally applied section 21 (Information accessible to applicant by other means) to this information. The Commissioner has decided that the withheld information is exempt by virtue of sections 32, 36 and 42. He did not therefore consider the application of sections 40 and 41. The Commissioner is also satisfied that the DCA held no information in relation to the request other than that which he was supplied in order to conduct his investigation. However, he requires the Ministry of Justice (the DCA’s successor body as of 9 May 2007) to supply the complainant with the schedule of documents to which section 21 applies.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]