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 .
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 email@example.com or:
General Regulatory Chamber
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
PO Box 9300
Telephone: 0300 123 4504
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
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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.
List of current cases
New cases are listed on the register of current cases.
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:
- section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
- sections 79 and 162 of the Data Protection Act 2018
- regulation 18 of The Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- The INSPIRE Regulations 2009
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation 2003
- The Data Protection (Monetary Penalties) (Maximum Penalty and Notices) Regulations 2010
- The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015
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: