5 Essex Court

Freedom of Information Act 2000: Section 23 Exemption

Lownie v. Information Commissioner, FCO and The National Archives [2020] UKUT 32 (AAC) is a recent Upper Tribunal case focusing on the application of s. 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000—that is, information which ‘relates to’ security bodies (such as MI5 and MI6). The appeal arose from a request for information on two members of the Cambridge Five spy ring, held by The National Archives, including a vetting file. This was an unusual s. 23 case because, due to the transfer of the information to The National Archives, s. 64 (2) FOIA operated to make the s.23 exemption a qualified one. 

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