Information rights: appeal against the commissioner's decision

How to appeal to a tribunal against a decision by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on an information request.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal if you disagree with an ICO decision on your freedom of information request, and you’re denied access to the information.

You can also appeal against an ICO fine or enforcement notice for breaking the rules around:

  • freedom of information
  • data protection
  • environmental information
  • privacy and electronic communications

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 reaching a decision.

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

Time limits for appealing

You must appeal within 28 days of when you received the decision notice from the ICO.

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

How to appeal

Use the notice of appeal form and guidance notes.

Include the ICO’s decision notice and any other relevant documents.

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

Send the form to or:

General Regulatory Chamber
PO Box 9300

Telephone: 0300 123 4504

Tribunal staff can give you general guidance on 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.

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:

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