Monday, April 11, 2016

Illegal Positive Action...Ethnic Knowledge : Tribunal Decision Is Important Trade Win....Gerald Coba.

This decision relates to an information request made way back in July 2014. TfL were asked certain probing questions about their 'positive action' / 'ethnic encouragement' campaign in an FOI request. And as TfL refused to answer, a complaint was made to the Information Commissioner's Office. The ICO backed TfL's refusal to answer. But confident that their decision was legally flawed, the matter was then taken to a tribunal, where under proper judicial scrutiny, the ICO's decision was overturned, and TfL were found guilty of breaking the Freedom of Information Act.

The real significance of this decision, however, arises from the fact that TfL's excuses for not providing the requested information were identical to the excuses that they have used to deny that their 'positive action' campaign was illegal. Thus it can be considered as a backdoor judgement on that campaign - and its illegality.

TfL had argued that that their campaign didn't constitute 'positive action' because it didn't involve any 'direct support' and because it wasn't 100% exclusive in its targetting. These bogus excuses (which appear to have originated from the cover-up team - rather than legal team) were comprehensively dismissed. 

The tribunal's decision has provided a platform from which to advance this important issue. And it will reinvigorate the campaign to bring justice and redress to the victims of TfL's illegal 'positive action'. It's an important step forward, and an important confidence builder - as TfL has been exposed as having no legitimate defence. And we now have something from an authoritive source.

It's obviously not comparable to getting Uber banned, but it's still a legal victory over TfL- and they don't come easy. And by breaking the law, and trying to cover up this problem they have added to the harrassment case against them. 

Realistically, this problem can only be solved by means of financial compensation. And that is unlikely to happen without TfL being brought to court. That is the next step. 

IN THE FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL Case No. Appeal No. EA/2015/0152 GENERAL REGULATORY CHAMBER INFORMATION RIGHTS
ON APPEAL FROM Information Commissioner’s Decision Notice FS50566301 Dated 29th June 2015

BETWEEN Mr Colin Jackson And

The Information Commissioner

Determined at a paper hearing on 2nd February 2016 Date of Decision 7TH April 2016
Date of Promulgation 8th April 2016

BEFORE Ms Fiona Henderson (Judge) Mr Michael Hake

And
Mr John Randall

Subject: s1 FOIA whether information held

Decision: The Appeal is allowed