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IN THE FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL APPEAL: EA/2017/0019

GENERAL REGULATORY CHAMBER


(INFORMATION RIGHTS)

BETWEEN:

Appellant
and

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER


Respondent

APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO APPEAL TO UPPER TRIBUNAL


(GROUNDS OF APPEAL)

Introduction

1. These grounds of appeal are in accordance with paragraph (5)(b) and (5)(c) of rule
42 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier) (General Regulatory Chamber) Rules
2009.

Alleged error of law

2. In the circumstances (i.e. where the public body cites vexatiousness to facilitate a
cover-up in which the police and governing bodies etc. are complicit) it is
considered an oppressive use of the Tribunal to assist them in obstructing the
disclosure of information requested by the Appellant by dismissing the Appeal. It
is therefore in the public interest that the matter is put before the Upper Tribunal
for consideration.
Grounds of Appeal

3. It is contended that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides no


exemptions which would preclude someone requesting information relating to any
specific subject. The majority of the requests in the present case which are deemed
vexatious were made as a consequence of the Councils (proven) criminal actions
against the Appellant. The subsequent dishonesty of the Councils fraud
investigation into allegations as well as Humberside polices claim to have
investigated were other significant factors (both refused to provide any proof that
investigations even took place).

4. The requests were considered vexatious by the council because they related to a
cover-up in which the police, etc., etc., subsequently became complicit. This has
reinforced the Appellants already held view that the statutory system of
governing complaints and associated procedures has been devised primarily to
facilitate cover-ups but at the same time presenting a false image to the public that
those suffering injustice at the hands of public bodies are treated fairly with an
avenue where their grievances can be independently adjudicated.

Lack of objectivity

5. It is considered that a biased Tribunal can be raised as a point of law in an


application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. The Tribunals
decision notice clearly demonstrates that the Appellants and the Councils
submissions were not considered in equal measure.

6. The Tribunals decision notice at paragraph 12 focuses on the fact that the
Appellant has been making requests to the Council over a number of years.
Presumably this is to reinforce the argument that the Appellants requests are
vexatious, implying he randomly decided in 2011 to embark on a quest to burden
the Council.

7. Representations submitted in the Appellants Grounds of Appeal justified why he


had taking to FOI, i.e., the provocation by the Council in its routine denial of any
wrongdoing when the trouble was taken to raise matters through its formal
complaint procedure. The Tribunal addresses this in paragraph 13, after stating
that the Appellant has remained dissatisfied with a number of steps he has taken to
challenge various issues involving the police, Local Government Ombudsman and
the courts, re:

This Tribunal is not, as the Appellant concedes, the appropriate venue to


explore whether the Council is processing liability for Council Tax
effectively.

8. The Tribunal has not been asked to explore this or adjudicate on whether the
Council has been dishonest. However, it has been provided evidence, which the
Judge and Tribunal members have read with care (Exhibit A-1) proving beyond all
doubt that false evidence was submitted to the court which has been covered up
ultimately by the Council applying Section 14 FOIA exemptions.

9. The Tribunal is not required to make formal judgment in respect of the allegations
but it would be judicially unsound (an oppressive use of the judicial system), in
the face of such an obvious cover-up for the Tribunal to obstruct the Appellant in
favour of assisting the Council keep a lid on the unfair and dishonest manner in
which it conducts its business.

10. It is the Appellants view that the gross injustice caused him, which may continue
indefinitely because the Council has exploited Section 14, is of significant
importance to outweigh the factors relevant to assessing the burden put upon the
authority. The Tribunal however is not persuaded that this is the case and must
presumably have considered that the Appellant would have had no reasonable
foundation for thinking that the information sought would be of value to him.
Paragraphs 11-15 disagree.

The value or serious purpose of requests / motive of the requester

11. The Appellant is in the unfortunate position to be fighting the injustice of three
cover-ups involving holders of public/judicial office, police etc., who are liable to
imprisonment for misconduct related offences. He therefore has only FOI
legislation available for carrying out investigations which the negligent/criminal
public bodies should have investigated on his behalf in return for the taxes he
pays.

12. It will be no revelation to the Tribunal that each public body, in response to every
request concerning these matters has exploited Section 14 to avoid disclosing the
information requested. However, despite having all the section 14 complaints
upheld by the Commissioner concerning Humberside police, NELC and the MoJ
on the grounds that they had no serious purpose it is worth noting a Decision
Notice dated 28 June 2017 (FS50622653) regarding Humberside police.

13. Ironically the outcome was useful, despite the Commissioner upholding the
section 14 exemption. It revealed (FS50622653, para 24) that a police officer who
the Appellant had alleged to have inaccurately set out his Witness Statement
relating to his wrongful conviction to include the phrase "you can't make me" was
the same constable involved in a separate incident where it was reported that the
exact phrase was said by another defendant who was subsequently convicted.

14. The possibility therefore is that the use of standard (not necessarily true) phrases
are incorporated into Witness Statements to the detriment of the defendant. The
Appellant has recently succeeded in having the Independent Police Complaints
Commission (IPCC) take over a complaint into this matter which Humberside
police wrongly dealt with by Local Resolution and had delayed its outcome by
taking 510 days to complete. This information is now usefully available for the
IPCC and Criminal Cases Review Commission in support of the Appellants
allegations against the police for wrongful arrest, false statements and miscarriage
of justice.

15. Additionally, it is clearly not appropriate that a decision of vexatiousness is made


on the grounds that the intention is to open up issues that have already been dealt
with by the (presumed) correct channels. Neither the Commissioner nor the
Tribunal should be at liberty to restrict an aggrieved person escalating concerns on
this basis.
Misrepresentation in the Tribunals Decision

16. Paragraph 14 of the Tribunals Decision needs to be clarified because in the re-
wording from the Appellants Response it has taken on a whole different meaning.
The relevant content in the Tribunals Decision states as follows:

The Appellant maintains that his requests for information have serious
purpose, and that the consequence of the original error in respect of his
liability for Council Tax is material in compounding the injustice further
and possibly preventing years of criminal wrongdoing by the Council being
uncovered.

The corresponding content is from the Appellants Response (paragraph 14). Note
the official error referred to is a reference to the Commissioners erroneous
assessment (in the Appellants view) of the requests being vexatious as opposed to
the Councils error:

If a request is erroneously labelled vexatious the Commissioner is


responsible for preventing someone from obtaining information that the law
entitles them to access. The consequence of the official error in the present
case is material in compounding the injustice further and possibly preventing
years of criminal wrongdoing by the Council being uncovered. The standard
expected of the Commissioner can not be considered to have been met if a
determination of vexatiousness relies upon on the alleged dismissal by the so
called responsible institutions. If the Commissioner is not prepared to look
into the alleged findings, or has no jurisdiction to question them, then it is
unreasonable that they are exploited in these proceedings to help persuade
the Tribunal that the requests were vexatious.

6 July 2017