Holland v The Information Commissionner

CourtSupreme Court
JudgeKeane C.J.
Judgment Date15 Dec 2003
JurisdictionIreland
Neutral Citation2003 WJSC-SC 6134

2003 WJSC-SC 6134

THE SUPREME COURT

Keane C.J.

Murray J.

Geoghegan J.

321/02
HOLLAND v. INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

BETWEEN

HOLLAND
APPLICANT

AND

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
DEFENDANT

Citations:

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S42(1)

RSC O.130

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S42(2)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997 S42(3)

Synopsis:

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Interlocutory application

Administrative law -Garda Síochána - Practice and procedure - Application to cross-examine - Whether necessary to cross-examine on affidavit - Freedom of Information Act, 1997 - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986 Order 130 (321/2002 - Supreme Court - 15/12/2003)

Holland v The Information Commissionner

Facts: The appellant had originally made a request for information from An Garda Síochána relating to an internal report into certain matters conducted on behalf of the Garda Commissioner. The request was refused by the Information Commissioner and the appellant initiated legal proceedings. As part of the proceedings a lengthy affidavit was filed by one of the investigators from the office of the Information Commissioner. The appellant sought permission to cross-examine the investigator in relation to the affidavit and this application was refused by Ó Caoimh J in the High Court and the matter was appealed.

Held by the Supreme Court (Keane CJ delivering judgment, Murray J and Geoghegan J agreeing) in dismissing the appeal. The appellant had failed to identify any factual controversy which might be relevant to the affidavit in question. The cross-examination of the investigator in relation to the affidavit would not be necessary. The decision of the High Court would be upheld.

Reporter: R.F.

1

JUDGMENT (ex-tempore) delivered the 15th day of December 2003, by Keane C.J.

2

This is an appeal from a judgment of the High Court, Mr. Justice Ó Caoimh, in which he refused an application made by the applicant, Mr. Holland, who is appearing in person, to cross-examination Mr. David Nutley on an affidavit filed by him in these proceedings on the 11 th October, 2002. The application arises out of the appeal brought by the applicant, Mr. Holland, from a decision of the Information Commissioner under the Freedom of Information Act in which he refused the applicant's request under the Act for information relating to an internal report of an inquiry into certain matters conducted it would seem on behalf of the Commissioner of the Garda Siochana.

3

The High Court and this court is not concerned with the applicant's appeal that is still to come on for hearing on the question of law in the High Court, but when the matter came before the learned High Court judge, there was before him a relatively lengthy affidavit from Mr. Nutley who is an...

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