Camden case rumbles on

The Camden FOI case continues to rumble on.

This was a case where the London Borough of Camden had refused an FOI request for the release of addresses of empty homes owned by the council on the grounds that this would lead to an increase in squatting. The applicant appealed to a First Tier Tribunal which decided that the public interest case for disclosure, highlighting the issue of empty homes, was more important than the prevention of crime that might be associated with increased squatting (this was before squatting itself became a criminal offence). Grant Shapps had been highly critical of this decision.

The Upper Tier Tribunal has decided that the First Tier Tribunal's case was flawed and has remitted the case back to the First Tier Tribunal.

By the time the First Tier Tribunal hears the case again, squatting of residential dwellings will be a criminal offence and we can guess that this will tip the balance in favour of "prevention of crime", even if one accepts that the original decision was correct (which is obviously open to question in the eyes of the Upper Tier Tribunal).

A lawyer's review of the case can be found here.

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A link to the actual decision has been added to our Information Library here.  This is for Full Members only and of course you will need to be logged in to access it.
Other points not made clear in the original news story are that  the Upper Tier Tribunal seems to have considered the work of the First Tier Tribunal so poor that it has required a fresh panel with different membership to be convened.