The right to appeal Freedom of Information decisions under public interest grounds should be removed, a new report has recommended.

The ‘Changes to courts and tribunals fees’ report by the Justice Select Committee says that legislation should be introduced to “remove the right of appeal” to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).

At present appeals against a decision, under the public interest, made by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be made to the FTT.

Any new legislation abolishing the appeal right would mean that appeals against ICO decision would have to be made to the Upper Tribunal.

Appeals to this higher court can only be made on a point of law; not a public interest argument.

The report from the committee endorsed new legislation on the area, which was first suggested by the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information earlier this year.

“Where someone remained dissatisfied with the IC’s decision, an appeal would still lie to the Upper Tribunal.

“The Upper Tribunal appeal is not intended to replicate the full-merits appeal that currently exists before the IC and First-tier Tribunal, but is limited to a point of law.”

The government is yet to announce a position on any potential legislation but said when the Commission’s report was being published it would consider all recommendations.

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.