Sugar v British Broadcasting Corporation and Another (2): SC 15 Feb 2012

The claimant sought release of a report prepared by the respondent as to its coverage of the Arab/Israel conflict partly for journalistic purposes, and partly for compliance.
Held: The appeal failed. Where the report was prepared even if only in part for jurnalistic purposes, it was exempt from disclosure under the 2000 Act. Lord Wilson saying that where as in this case the journalistic purpose was predominant that was sufficient to take it outside the Act. The respondent was a public authority for the purpose of the Act only where an activity fell outside journalistic purposes. Once it was established that the information sought was held by the BBC to any significant degree for the purposes of journalism, it is exempt from production under Act, even if the information is also held for other purposes. The public purpose of disclosing information was balanced against a similar interest that journalistic organisations should not have their basic activities limited by the consequences of disclosure.

Lord Phillips, President, Lord Walker, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Wilson
[2012] UKSC 4, [2012] 1 WLR 439, [2012] EMLR 17, [2012] 2 All ER 509, [2012] WLR(D) 33
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Freedom of Information Act 2000 7(1)
England and Wales
At ITSugar v Information Commissioner IT 29-Aug-2006
IT At this preliminary hearing the Tribunal finds that at the time of the request made by Mr Sugar to the BBC for a copy of the Balen Report it was held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or . .
At ITSugar v Information Commissioner IT 29-Aug-2006
The Preliminary Issue before the Information Tribunal
The Tribunal decided on 2 March 2006, under its rule 10 procedure (summary disposal of appeals – The Information Tribunal (Enforcement Appeals) Rules 2005 (the Rules), in the absence of the . .
At First InstanceBritish Broadcasting Corporation v Sugar and Another Admn 27-Apr-2007
The applicant sought publication of a report prepared for the respondent as to the even handedness of its reporting of matters in the middle east. The BBC had refused saying that the release of the report would have direct impact on its ability to . .
See AlsoSugar and Another v British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) CA 25-Jan-2008
The court upheld Davis J’s decision that neither the Commissioner nor the Tribunal had had any jurisdiction to entertain Mr Sugar’s challenges to the BBC’s refusal to disclose the Balen report. . .
At HLSugar v British Broadcasting Corporation and Another HL 11-Feb-2009
The Corporation had commissioned a report as to its coverage of Middle East issues. The claimant requested a copy, and the BBC refused saying that the report having been obtained for its own journalistic purposes, and that it was not covered by the . .
At ITSugar v Information Commissioner IT 14-May-2009
. .
CitedBritish Broadcasting Corporation v Sugar and Another Admn 2-Oct-2009
Disclosure was sought of a report prepared by the BBC to assess the balance of its coverage of middle east affairs. The BBC said that the information was not held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature. One issue was whether . .
Appeal fromSugar v The British Broadcasting Commission and Another (No 2) CA 23-Jun-2010
The respondent had had prepared a report as to the balance of its reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier proceedings had established that the purposes of the holding of the reporting included jurnalism. The claimant now appealed . .
CitedChohan v Saggar ChD 1992
Section 423(3) of the 1986 Act requires a plaintiff to show a dominant purpose to remove assets from the reach of actual or potential claimants or creditors, but not excluding the possibility that there might be other purposes behind the relevant . .
CitedPeach v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 1986
Statements made to the police about the death of Mr Blair Peach should be disclosed to his mother in her action against the police because, although they were made partly for the purpose of a complaint against the police and so would to that extent, . .
CitedCommon Services Agency v Scottish Information Commissioner IHCS 1-Dec-2006
The Agency rejected a request to provide statistics on certain children, saying that the numbers were so small that individuals might be identified.
Held: Since the whole purpose of 2002 Act is the release of information, it should be . .
CitedWaugh v British Railways Board HL 12-Jul-1979
No Litigation Privilege without Dominant Purpose
An internal report had been prepared by two of the Board’s officers two days after a collision involving the death of a locomotive driver, whose widow brought the action and now sought its production.
Held: The court considered litigation . .
CitedRegina v Monopolies and Mergers Commission, ex parte South Yorkshire Transport Ltd HL 1993
One bus company took over another, giving it an effective monopoly within the region. The Commission considered that the area involved was sufficiently substantial to cause concern that it may operate against the public interest. At first instance . .
CitedSecretary of State for Defence v Al-Skeini and others (The Redress Trust Intervening) HL 13-Jun-2007
Complaints were made as to the deaths of six Iraqi civilians which were the result of actions by a member or members of the British armed forces in Basra. One of them, Mr Baha Mousa, had died as a result of severe maltreatment in a prison occupied . .
CitedRegina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions and another, ex parte Spath Holme Limited HL 7-Dec-2000
The section in the 1985 Act created a power to prevent rent increases for tenancies of dwelling-houses for purposes including the alleviation of perceived hardship. Accordingly the Secretary of State could issue regulations whose effect was to limit . .

Cited by:
BindingKennedy v Charity Commission CA 20-Mar-2012
The claimant sought disclosure of an investigation conducted by the respondent. The respondent replied that the material was exempt within section 32(2). The court had found that that exemption continued permanently even after the inquiry was . .
CitedKennedy v The Charity Commission SC 26-Mar-2014
The claimant journalist sought disclosure of papers acquired by the respondent in its conduct of enquiries into the charitable Mariam appeal. The Commission referred to an absolute exemption under section 32(2) of the 2000 Act, saying that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Media

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.451296