Office of Communications v The Information Commissioner: CA 20 Feb 2009

Grounds for non-disclosure treated cumulatively

An applicant had requested disclosure of information regarding the environmental impact of electro-magnetic radiation from mobile phones. The court considered the balance between the need to disclose information and the maintaining of exceptions to disclosure in the public interest, in the context of third party intellectual property rights. The tribunal had found that the exceptions under regulation 12(5)(a) (public safety) and regulation 12(5)(c) (intellectual property rights) were engaged but that in each case the public interest in maintaining the exception did not outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information. The rights protected were database rights.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The grounds for maintaining an exception could be seen cumulatively. Construing the grounds restrictively did not mean that they could not be seen together as would be allowed under the 1978 Act.

Richards, Thomas, Waller LJJ
[2009] EWCA Civ 90, [2009] ACD 48
Bailii, Times
Environmental Information Regulations 2004, Freedom of Information Act 2000, Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997, Interpretation Act 1978 6, Directive 2003/4/EC of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information
England and Wales
Appeal fromOffice of Communications, Regina (on the Application of) v Information Commissioner Admn 8-Apr-2008
Appeal against order for disclosure of details of location, ownership and technical attributes of mobile phone cellular-based stations. . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromOffice of Communications v The Information Commissioner SC 27-Jan-2010
The parties disputed the publication of materials relating to the exact placement of mobile phone masts. The operators wanted the information excepted from disclosure for fear of criminal acts and also said that disclosure would breach their . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Intellectual Property

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.301654