Information rights and data protection: appeal against the Information Commissioner

How to appeal to a tribunal against the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) or ask the tribunal to direct a response if you have not heard from the ICO.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal if you consider that a decision notice issued made by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on your freedom of information or other information request is wrong. You can also appeal against certain decisions made under the Data Protection Act 2018.

You can ask the tribunal to direct a response if you have not heard from the ICO 3 months after making a complaint under Section 165 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Your appeal may relate to a request under:

  • freedom of information legislation
  • environmental information regulations

You can also appeal to the tribunal if the Information Commissioner serves you (under the Data Protection Act 2018 about your handling of personal data) with:

  • an information notice
  • an assessment notice
  • an enforcement notice
  • a penalty notice
  • a penalty variation notice

You can also apply to the tribunal to direct the ICO respond to your complaint if you made a complaint that there has been a breach of part 3 or 4 of the Data Protection Act 2018 involving data about you and you have received no outcome or up-date after 3 months .

The tribunal

Your case will be dealt with by a tribunal in the General Regulatory Chamber.

The tribunal is independent of the government, and will listen to both sides of the argument before it reaches a decision.

They may ask to look at the information in question before deciding if you should see it.

If you or your representative is outside the UK and wants to give live video or audio evidence, contact the tribunal to request it. Tell the tribunal what country you or the representative is in and what type of evidence is being given. You must do this as soon as possible.

Time limits for appealing

You have 28 days to appeal after the ICO sends you its decision.

If you miss the time limit, you can ask for more time to appeal. Explain why you’re late, and the tribunal will decide if it can still accept your case.

How to appeal

Complete the relevant General Regulatory Chamber (First-tier Tribunal) form.

Include the ICO’s decision notice or enforcement notice and any other relevant documents, such as the date of your complaint to the ICO in Data Protection cases.

Clearly say why you think the ICO’s decision was wrong.

Send the form to or:

General Regulatory Chamber
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
PO Box 9300

Telephone: 0300 123 4504
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Tribunal staff can explain how the process works, but they cannot give you legal advice.

What happens next

The tribunal will write to you about the next steps.

Find out more about tribunal hearings and decisions.

Previous decisions

Search the decisions database to see how judges made decisions in previous cases.

Legislation and rules

You can find the right to appeal to the tribunal in the following laws and regulations:

You can find the right to apply for a direction to the ICO in:

Read detailed rules on how your case will be handled in the:

Updates to this page

Published 19 December 2014
Last updated 28 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated page to reflect the latest information.

  2. Updated the how to appeal section with a link to the General Regulatory Chamber (First-tier Tribunal) forms collection.

  3. Changed telephone number of the GRC and fixed broken link

  4. Changes to include appeals and applications within the Data Protection Act 2018.

  5. Added reference to reuse of public sector information regulations 2015

  6. First published.

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