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Disclosure of Information
The Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act provide a general right of access to recorded information held by public authorities.
The JAC is considered to be a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and as a data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act.
The Data Protection Act 1998 covers the personal data of living, identifiable individuals and for the JAC this is likely to mean individual candidates in selection exercises for judicial appointment. However, it also contains exemptions from disclosure and one of the exemptions refers specifically to judicial appointments.
Paragraph 3 of Schedule 7 of the Data Protection Act provides that:
Personal data processed for the purposes of—
(a) assessing any person's suitability for judicial office…,
are exempt from the subject information provisions.
The following data are processed for the purpose of assessing a persons suitability for judicial office, and will therefore not be provided to candidates:
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 took effect from January 1st 2005. We operate as openly and transparently as possible in the spirit of the Act.
There are a number of exemptions and exclusions which exist to ensure a proper balance is achieved between the right to know, the right to personal privacy and the delivery of effective government.
Responsibility for overseeing the operation of the Act rests with the Information Commissioner who is independent of the government reporting directly to Parliament.
For detailed information on the Freedom of Information Act, its scope and your rights to information, visit the Information Commissioner's website. Further guidance is also available on the Ministry of Justice website at www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/freedom-of-information.htm
Publication scheme policy
One of the key principles of good administration is to be open and accountable. We are committed to publishing a wide range of information about our activities and on subjects in which there is known to be a public interest.
At the same time under the terms of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, our processes must be undertaken confidentially and any information that we gather for the purposes of making selections for judicial appointments can only be disclosed in very specific circumstances. We must also balance our wish to operate openly and transparently with our duty to protect the personal and confidential information we hold. Therefore the information that we can place in the public domain about our work is limited.
The JAC's publication scheme is based on the Information Commissioner's model scheme for non-departmental public bodies. It is specifically designed to ensure that we make a significant amount of information available without the need for a specific request under the Freedom of Information Act.
If you are unable to find the information you require through our publication scheme, you can make a request for that information by contacting us at Freedom of Information Office, Judicial Appointments Commission, 1st Floor, Steel House, 11 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9LJ, email FOIA@jac.gsi.gov.uk