The First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights) has – with immediate effect – stayed for a period of 28 days all proceedings under section 48 of the Data Protection Act 1998, section 162 of the Data Protection Act 2018 and section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
In directions (link to 11KBW’s Panopticon blog) Chamber President Judge Alison McKenna also said that all time limits in any new and current proceedings would be extended by the same period.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this direction is subject to and does not affect any Directions in relation to specified proceedings made by the Tribunal on or after 1 April 2020,” the judge said.
The directions state that any party to proceedings may apply to the Tribunal, with reasons and on notice to the Information Commissioner, for these directions to be amended, suspended or set aside or for further directions in relation to those proceedings.
The directions will be reviewed after 28 days.
The move follows an application by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Judge Cooke said she considered it appropriate to make the directions "in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Information Commissioner’s Office being temporarily closed as a result and the effect which those matters have on the conduct of proceedings in this Chamber”.