Rob Evans: FoI ruling against Guardian is 'outrageous'


Guardian journalist Rob Evans has described as “outrageous” the Information Tribunal decision not to release information about judges’ misconduct complaints.

The Guardian asked in 2005 for details of judges who had been disciplined for misbehaving. As Press Gazette reported this morning, the Tribunal has ruled this information is protected under Section 40 of the FoI, which covers private data.

In a Comment is Free piece, Evans wrote: “One of the worst features of the information tribunal’s decision was its misuse of the concept of ‘privacy’ as an excuse to hush-up misconduct by public figures.

“The sanction imposed by the justice secretary is not a private document nor is the official record of it, as the information tribunal ruled, ‘private data’ exempt from disclosure under the Data Protection Act.

“It is public data, a record of the findings and the sanction on a public official, and it should be as accessible as any court judgment.”

He added: “The rule that justice must be seen to be done requires that justices must be seen to be done as well.”

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