The Information Tribunal gave judgment for the Home Office on 10 April 2013 in a case under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 concerning confidential lists of countries connected with high levels of immigration abuse. By virtue of authorisations made under equality legislation, immigration and entry clearance staff are exempt from race discrimination rules if and when they give additional scrutiny to applicants from countries on the lists. Requests for disclosure of the lists were refused on the basis that this would prejudice the UK’s diplomatic relations with the countries in question. The Information Commissioner ordered partial disclosure and the Home Office appealed with the support of the Foreign Office. After hearing three days of live evidence and argument, the Tribunal allowed the appeals and dismissed a cross-appeal by one of the requesters: the Tribunal accepted that disclosure would prejudice international relations and that this outweighed the public interest in disclosure.
The judgment is available here.