The President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir Brian Leveson, gave the lead judgment in Willow v Information Commissioner & Ministry of Justice  EWCA Civ 1876. The appellant, Carolyne Willow of Article 39, had challenged an Upper Tribunal decision upholding the Ministry of Justice’s refusal to disclose a training manual on the restraint of 12-17 year olds in custody.
The case raised issues about the competing public interests in disclosure and non-disclosure and the relevance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to the handling of requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, finding that the Convention is not engaged as a matter of domestic law and that the decisions reached were compatible with article 3 in any event.
Oliver acted for the Ministry of Justice in the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal instructed by the Government Legal Department. Ian Wise QC and Michael Armitage of Monckton Chambers represented the appellant and Gerry Facenna QC of Monckton Chambers appeared for the Information Commissioner.