Tony Newbery has lost his FOI claim for the details of the attendees at the BBC's climate change seminar. The decision was issued in an extraordinarily short period of ten days (it normally takes four weeks).
But that's not the reason for the headline. The reason is to be found in Andrew Orlowski's latest post on the hearings:
Tribunal judge David Marks QC supported the broadcaster, cut off several avenues of questioning from Newbery, and agreed with the BBC that it can be considered a "private organisation", despite the fact that it is funded by a compulsory tax.
The hostility of lay judge Alison Lowton, one of the three-strong panel, to Newbery was also noticeable - but perhaps understandable. The former director of legal services [PDF] of Camden Council took a six-figure severance package in 2007 when her post was abolished. Camden fought to keep the details of the settlement away from freedom-of-information requests.
The other lay judge, former Haringey councillor Narendra Makanji, appears to have strong views on climate-change skeptics, as he tweeted here this year:
Michael Hintze who dines at no 10 is backer of Global Warming Policy Foundation, climate change deniers fronted by Nigel Lawson. Pls RT.
We asked the Information Commissioner's Office how a lay judge with such partisan views on climate change came to oversee hearings so closely coupled to the subject of climate. Campaigning lay judges would not normally be appointed to sit on such a case, a spokesman noted, and concerns would be legitimate grounds for appeal.