Possible case outcomes

Possible outcomes for cases before the Tribunal

When a complaint is made to the Tribunal, there are seven possible outcomes:

  1. No determination in favour of the complainant: This means that after considering the case and requiring any necessary investigation, EITHER the Tribunal is satisfied that there has been no conduct in relation to the complainant by any relevant body which falls within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, OR that there has been some official activity which is not in contravention of the Act, and cannot be criticised as disproportionate. The provisions of the Act do not allow the Tribunal to disclose whether or not complainants are, or have been, of interest to the SIAs or law enforcement agencies. Nor is the Tribunal permitted to disclose what evidence it has taken into account in considering the complaint.
  2. Out of Jurisdiction: This ruling means that after careful consideration by at least two Members, the Tribunal has ruled that under Rule 13(3)(c) of the IPT Rules 2000, the Tribunal has no power to investigate the complaint.
  3. Out of Time: In such cases after careful consideration by at least two Members the Tribunal rules that under Rule 13(3)(b) of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal Rules 2000, the complaint is out of time and the time limit should not be extended.
  4. Frivolous or vexatious: The Tribunal concludes in such cases that the complaint is obviously unsustainable and/or that it is vexatious. The Tribunal will regard a complaint as obviously unsustainable if it is so far-fetched or lacking in foundation as to justify this description. A complaint is regarded as vexatious if it is a repetition or repeated repetition of an earlier obviously unsustainable complaint by the same person, and thus falls within the provisions of Rule 13(3) (a), such that, pursuant to Section 67(4) of RIPA, the Tribunal has resolved to dismiss the claim.
  5. Case dismissed: The Tribunal has resolved to dismiss the complaint, for example, due to a defect such as the failure by a complainant to sign the form or comply with a request for information (after due warning).
  6. CWC: Complainant withdrew the complaint.
  7. The Tribunal has ruled in favour of the complainant: In this event, it is open to the Tribunal to grant a remedy. Sometimes the finding alone may be all that is necessary or appropriate.


Last updated: 5 Jul 16