Robert Talalay and Alex Ustych appear in the FTT, successfully resisting an appeal against the application of the national security FOIA exemptions

10 February 2020

Robert, acting for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (MPS), and Alex, acting for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire (PCCW), appeared in test appeals brought by Privacy International concerning information relating to IMSI catchers / Covert Communications Data Capture (CCDC) devices. The challenge brought was to the ambit of s.23 of FOIA and the application of s.24 and s.31 of FOIA, where the Information Commissioner had largely upheld the decisions of the forces – the MPS having neither confirmed nor denied whether it held the data requested and the PCCW refusing to disclose the content of a business case.

The judgment reaffirms the principles applicable to cases concerning requests for information about specific policing techniques (or the absence of an available technique). The FTT refused to reveal whether any data was held (in the case of the MPS) and the data requested (in the case of the PCCW) as to do so would reveal the operational capacity of the police, which would be contrary to the public interest.

These cases were test cases for appeals in respect of 7 additional police forces, which were stayed pending the conclusion of these proceedings.

A copy of the Judgments can be found online here (MPS) and here (PCCW).

Robert Talalay was instructed on behalf of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Alex Ustych was instructed on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire



Robert Talalay

Call 2010

Alex Ustych

Call 2010

Related areas

Police Law


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and event updates.



16 April 2024

Chambers is delighted to announce that Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC is one of only…

Discover more

14 February 2022

The first hearings of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry commenced today.  Previously a non-statutory…

Discover more

19 December 2023

A message from Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, looking back at the past 12…

Discover more

Portfolio Builder

Select the practice areas that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)