Original language


United Kingdom
Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Court name
First-tier Tribunal
Reference number
Climate Change, Evidence, Remedies
Free tags
Environment gen.
Legal questions
Hamilton, A.
A request was made to the University of East Anglia for the release of a copy of an email. The email attached information that was being used to support a claim that academics from the University had manipulated data to support arguments for climate change. The Information Commissioner initially ruled that, as the email had been deleted by its sender, it was no longer “held” under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and therefore did not need to be disclosed in response to the request, even though it was stored on the University’s back-up system. The Information Tribunal has disagreed with the Information Commissioner’s ruling, and ruled that, if the email still existed, it was still “held” and therefore the University should disclose the email or issue a valid refusal notice. Whilst this ruling relates to the Environmental Information Regulations, it is based on the same principles as disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and is an interesting precedent.