Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

Please could I have a copy of your file(s) on the "Twitter joke trial" (R vs Paul Chambers) and associated appeals?

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

 

We confirm receipt of your request for information. Your reference for
this request is 3429.

 

Your request was received on 6^th August 2012 and we are dealing with it
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  In accordance
with the Act, there is a twenty working day limit (from receipt of
request) in which we are required to respond to requests.

 

The deadline for your request therefore is 4^th September 2012. We will
however make every effort to respond sooner if possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

CPS Information Management Unit

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Ganesh Sittampalam
[mailto:[FOI #124422 email]]

Sent: 06 August 2012 12:13

To: Freedom of Information Unit

Subject: Freedom of Information request - Twitter joke trial

 

     Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

    

     Please could I have a copy of your file(s) on the "Twitter joke

     trial" (R vs Paul Chambers) and associated appeals?

    

     Yours faithfully,

    

     Ganesh Sittampalam

    

     -------------------------------------------------------------------

    

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Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

 

Please find enclosed our response to your Freedom of Information Act
request with the reference number 3429.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

CPS Information Management Unit

 

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Crown Prosecution Service's handling of my FOI request 'Twitter joke trial'. I apologise for leaving it till the last minute.

Although s30 is a "strong" exemption (http://www.panopticonblog.com/2012/09/14...), I would suggest that the Twitter Joke Trial is an exceptional case where the public interest in revealing the information does trump the public interest in maintaining the exemption. In particular, the strong public outcry following the prosecution, which threatened to bring both the CPS and the law itself into disrepute, is a special feature of this case.

I would also note that despite your statement about "There is a strong public interest in the courts being the sole forum for
determining guilt", the CPS performs an important role of deciding whether there is a public interest in prosecuting in the first place. In a case like this, where a law that was superficially capable of a very broad interpretation, understanding how the CPS assesses that public interest is of great importance to people who need to understand whether their conduct might lead to prosecution . I would also note that the CPS has previously been compelled by the courts to publish guidance on how they will assess the public interest in respect to "mercy killings".

Regarding the claim that the information constitutes "sensitive personal information", I would argue that even if some of the file contains sensitive personal information, that is not true of the file as a whole, particularly given the decision in Durant vs FSA (
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...), where it was found that material relating to a complaint Durant had made was not his own personal information.

Additionally, the general circumstances of the case are well known to the public, so it is unlikely that any previously secret information would be revealed by publishing the file in any case. Regarding the conditions in the DPA, I argue that condition 6(1) of schedule 2 is met for the same reasons as the public interest argument above, namely that there is a legitimate interest in understanding how the CPS reached a decision of this nature. Additionally condition 5 of schedule 3 is met because the accused in this case has deliberately made the information public, for example in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tw...

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear Mr
Sittampalam                                                                                        

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST – INTERNAL REVIEW

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email of 6 October 2012.  Your
email will be referred for an internal review and will be assigned to a
Crown Prosecution Service official who was not involved with the original
decision in relation to your FOI request (our ref: 3429).

 

We normally expect to complete internal reviews within 20 working days,
although more complex cases may take longer.  We will however to endeavour
to respond to you as quickly as practicable.

 

Regards

 

Mr P Willman

Information Management Unit

 

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McHaffie Malcolm, Crown Prosecution Service

1 Attachment

[Subject only] Ganesh Sittampalam FOI request

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

13 Attachments

Dear Mr Sittampalam

 

Please see attached.

 

Regards

 

Mr P Willman

Information Management Unit

 

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The ICO has rejected my complaint (FS50479441) on the grounds that s32 and s42 are engaged, after the CPS changed their position during the Commissioner's investigation and claimed several new exemptions:

http://www.comply-promptly.org.uk/twitte...

I plan to appeal this on a number of grounds as the ICO did not give me an opportunity to meet the CPS's new case during the course of the investigation.

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