Governors and Guardians of the Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-in Women, Dublin v Information Commissioner

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeHonourable Mr. Justice McCarthy
Judgment Date02 July 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] IEHC 315
Judgment citation (vLex)[2009] 7 JIC 0206
CourtHigh Court
Date02 July 2009

[2009] IEHC 315

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 16/MCA/2008]
Governors and Guardians of the Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-In Women, Dublin v Information Commissioner
IN THE MATTER OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 (AS AMENDED)

AND

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL PURSUANT TO SECTION 42(1) OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997

AND

BETWEEN/
THE GOVERNORS AND THE GUARDIANS OF THE HOSPITAL FOR THE RELIEF OF POOR LYING-IN WOMEN, DUBLIN
APPELLANT

AND

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
RESPONDENT

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S42

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S34(12)(B)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S2(1)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(2)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(5)(A)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(6)(B)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S26

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(1)

SHEEDY v INFORMATION CMSR 2005 2 IR 272 2005 2 ILRM 374 2005/54/11310 2005 IESC 35

HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE v INFORMATION CMSR 2009 1 ILRM 440 2008/28/6216 2008 IEHC 298

DEELY v INFORMATION CMSR & DPP 2001 3 IR 439 2001/5/1298

SOUTH WESTERN AREA HEALTH BOARD v INFORMATION CMSR 2005 2 IR 547 2005/55/11626 2005 IEHC 177

MURRAY v TRUSTEES & ADMINISTRATORS OF THE IRISH AIRLINES (GENERAL EMPLOYEES) SUPERANNUATION SCHEME 2007 2 ILRM 196 2007/43/9011 2007 IEHC 27

ULSTER BANK INVESTMENT FUNDS LTD v FINANCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN UNREP FINNEGAN 1.11.2006 2006/56/11976 2006 IEHC 323

MIN FOR FINANCE v MCARDLE UNREP LAFFOY 22.3.2007 2007/40/8242 2007 IEHC 98

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6

MIN FOR EDUCATION v INFORMATION CMSR UNREP MCGOVERN 31.7.2008 2008/40/8659 2008 IEHC 279

DPP v CRONIN 2006 4 IR 329 2006 2 ILRM 401 2006/13/2579 2006 IESC 9

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S34(10)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S34(10)(B)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S34(10)(C)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S42(1)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6(1)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6(2)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6(3)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6(4)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S6(5)

H (E) v INFORMATION CMSR 2002 3 IR 600 2001/11/3136

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(5B)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (AMDT) ACT 2003 S23

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(2)(A)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(6)

HAMILTON v HAMILTON 1982 IR 466 1982 ILRM 290

HEFFERON KEARNS LTD (NO 1), IN RE 1993 3 IR 177 1992 ILRM 51 1991/8/1875

CHESTVALE PROPERTIES LTD & HODDLE INVESTMENTS LTD v GLACKIN 1993 3 IR 35 1992 ILRM 221 1992/1/103

BENNION & GOODALL BENNION ON STATUTORY INTERPRETATION 5ED 2008

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S28(2)(C)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S2(1)(B)(vi)

CANADA (INFORMATION CMSR) v CANADA (MIN OF PUBLIC WORKS) 1996 70 CPR (3RD) 37 1997 1 FC 164

CIVIL REGISTRATION ACT 2004 S19

CIVIL REGISTRATION ACT 2004 S30

O'T (I) v B 1998 2 IR 321 1998/29/11797

COCO v AN CLARK (ENGINEERS) LTD 1968 FSR 415

SALTMAN ENGINEERING CO LTD & ORS v CAMPBELL ENGINEERING CO LTD 1948 65 RPC 203 1963 3 AER 413 (NOTE)

HOUSE OF SPRING GARDENS LTD & ORS v POINT BLANK LTD & ORS 1984 IR 611

PRINCE ALBERT v STRANGE 1849 1 H & TW 1 47 ER 1302

GANNON v INFORMATION CMSR 2006 1 IR 270 2006/26/5564 2006 IEHC 17

NATIONAL MATERNITY HOSPITAL v INFORMATION CMSR 2007 3 IR 643 2007/44/9268 2007 IEHC 113

SUTHERLAND v CANADA (MIN OF INDIAN & NORTHERN AFFAIRS) 1994 CANLII 3493 (FC) 115 DLR (4TH) 265

MCK (N) v INFORMATION CMSR 2006 1 IR 260 2006 1 ILRM 504 2006/36/7639 2006 IESC 2

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S7

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 (SECTION 28(6)) REGS 1999 SI 47/1999 REG 3(1)(B)(iii)

COLLINS CONCISE DICTIONARY 4ED 1999

SUCCESSION ACT 1965 S71(1)

SUCCESSION ACT 1965 S70

MCDONAGH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW 2ED 2006

CONSTITUTION ART 40.3

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1947 S16

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003 S2

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 8

ODIEVRE v FRANCE 2004 38 EHRR 43

CAMPBELL v MIRROR GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD 2004 2 AC 457 2004 2 WLR 1232 2004 2 AER 995

Z v FINLAND 1998 25 EHRR 371

GASKIN v UNITED KINGDOM 1990 12 EHRR 36

G (M) v UNITED KINGDOM 2003 36 EHRR 3

JAGGI v SWITZERLAND 2008 47 EHRR 30

MIKULIC v CROATIA 2002 1 FCR 720 2002 11 BHRC 689

PECK v UNITED KINGDOM 2003 36 EHRR 41

W v EGDELL 1990 1 AER 835 1990 CH 359 1990 2 WLR 471

X v Y 1988 2 AER 648 1988 RPC 379

MURRAY & GIBSON v CMSN TO INQUIRE INTO CHILD ABUSE & ORS 2004 2 IR 222 2004/33/7522 2004 IEHC 225

MCCANN v UNITED KINGDOM 1996 21 EHRR 97

HILLIARD v PENFIELD ENTERPRISES LTD & ORS 1990 1 IR 138 1990 DULJ 138 1990/3/768

PRIVATE MOTORISTS PROVIDENT SOCIETY LTD & MOORE v AG 1983 IR 339

KERRY CO-OPERATIVE CREAMERIES LTD & ORS v BORD BAINNE CO-OPERATIVE LTD & ANOR 1990 ILRM 664 1990 ITR 309 1991/4/775

IARNROD EIREANN & DOWLING v IRELAND & ORS 1996 3 IR 321 1995 2 ILRM 161 1995/8/2405

COMPETITION AUTHORITY v IRISH DENTAL ASSOCIATION 2005 3 IR 208 2006 1 ILRM 383 2005/11/2395 2005 IEHC 361

DPP, PEOPLE v KENNY 1990 2 IR 110 1990/2/417

BUPA IRELAND LTD & BUPA INSURANCE LTD v HEALTH INSURANCE AUTHORITY & ORS UNREP SUPREME 16.7.2008 2008 IESC 42

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Appeal

Access to records -Personal information -Age -Deceased person -Request by next of kin -Refusal to grant access to records -Record created prior to commencement of Act -Whether applicant entitled to access under Act -Retrospective effect -Whether provisions applied to records created prior to commencement -Whether access necessary to understand records created after commencement -Whether record related to personal information of person seeking access -Whether information sought was personal information -Procedure on appeal -Whether new point of law could be raised on appeal -Whether information confidential -Whether prohibition on disclosure applied -Whether information publicly available --Test to be applied -Whether public interest in disclosure -Constitutional rights of deceased persons -Constitutional rights of corporations -Sheedy v Information Commissioner [2005] IESC 35, [2005] 2 IR 272, Minister for Agriculture v Information Commissioner [2000] 1 IR 309, Health Service Executive v Information Commissioner [2009] IEHC 298, [2009] 1 ILRM 440, Deely v Information Commissioner [2001] 3 IR 439, South Western Area Health Board v Information Commissioner [2005] IEHC 177, [2005] 2 IR 547, Murray v Trustees and Administrators of the Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme [2007] IEHC 27, [2007] 2 ILRM 196, Murphy v Minister for Defence [1991] 2 IR 161, Ulster Bank Investment Funds Ltd v Financial Services Ombudsman [2006] IEHC 323 (Unrep, Finnegan, 1/11/2006), Minister for Finance v McArdle [2007] IEHC 98, (Unrep, Laffoy J, 22/3/2007), Hamilton v Hamilton [1982] IR 466, Re Heffernon Kearns Ltd (No 1) [1993] 3 I.R. 177, Chestvale v. Glackin, [1993] 3 I.R. 35, Information Commissioner v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services) (1996) 70 CPR (3rd ) 37, IO'T v B [1998] 2 IR 321, Coco v AN Clarke (Engineers) Ltd [1968] FSR 415, Saltman Engineering Co Ltd v Campbell Engineering Co Ltd (1948) 65 RPC 203, House of Spring Gardens Ltd v Point Blank Ltd [1984] IR 611, Prince Albert v Strange (1849) 1 H & TW 1, Gannon v Information Commissioner [2006] IEHC 17, [2006] 1 IR 270, National Maternity Hospital v Information Commissioner [2007] IEHC 113 [2007] 3 IR 643, McK v Information Commissioner [2006] IESC 2, [2006] 1 IR 260, Odievre v France (2004) 38 EHRR 43, Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] 2 AC 457, Gaskin v UK [1990] 12 EHRR 36, G(M) v UK (2003) 36 EHRR 3, Jaggi v Switzerland (2008) 47 EHRR 30, Mikulic v Croatia (2002) 1 FCR 720, Peck v UK (2003) 36 EHRR 41, W v Egdell [1990] 1 All ER 835, X v Y [1988] 2 All ER 648, Murray v Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse [2004] IEHC 225, [2004] 2 IR 222, McCann v UK (1996) 21 EHRR 97, Hilliard v Penfield Enterprises Ltd [1990] 1 IR 138, Private Motorists Provident Society v Attorney General [1983] IR 339, Kerry Cooperative Creameries v An Bórd Bainne [1990] ILRM 664, Iarnrod Éireann v Ireland [1996] 3 IR 321, Competition Authority v Irish Dental Association [2005] IEHC 361, [2005] 3 IR 208, People (DPP) v Kenny [1990] 2 IR 110 and Bupa Ireland Ltd v Health Insurance Authority [2008] IESC 42, (Unrep, SC, 16/7/2008) considered -Courts of Justice Act 1946 (No 21), s 16 -Succession Act 1965 (No 27), ss 70 & 71 -Freedom of Information Act 1997 (No 13), ss 5, 6(1), 21(1)(a), 26, 28, 32(1), 34(2) & 42(1) - Education Act 1998 (No 51), s 5 -European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 (No 20), s 2 -Constitution of Ireland, Art. 40.3 -European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, art 8 -Appeal dismissed (2008/16MCA -McCarthy J -2/7/2009) [2009] IEHC 315

Governors of Poor Lying-In Women v Information Commissioner

1

Honourable Mr. Justice McCarthy delivered on the 2nd day of July 2009

2

1. This is an appeal pursuant to s. 42 of the Freedom of Information Act 1997, ("the Act") against a decision of the Information Commissioner ("the Commissioner") of 14 th December, 2007, being decision No. 050148, and commenced by originating notice of motion of 18 th February, 2008. The Act contemplates an appeal from the decision of the Commissioner within eight weeks of notification of that decision to the party aggrieved (such notification being effected on 18 th December, 2007) on a point of law only. The applicant ("the Hospital") merely seeks an order quashing the decision of the Commissioner and a "summary of grounds of appeal" was served on the 14 th March, 2008, but there is in existence what is described as an "amended summary of grounds of appeal" which was served on 21 st July, 2008. Any reference to the Act can be taken as amended by the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003, unless the contrary so appears.

3

2. The appeal is grounded on a...

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4 cases
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2 books & journal articles

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