The Press Gazette reports that permission has been granted to allow the appeal by Steven Sugar against the Court of Appeal’s refusal to overturn the first instance decision by Mr Justice Irwin that the Balen Report was exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 because the corporation held it for “purposes of journalism, art or literature”.

The report is an internal report on the BBC’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prepared by senior news editor Malcolm Balen.

In January 2005, Sugar requested a copy of the report, starting litigation that led to the case going all the way to the House of Lords on a question of jurisdiction before returning to the Information Tribunal, the decision of which was overturned by Mr Justice Irwin.

The Court of Appeal upheld that decision in a judgment (Sugar v BBC & Anor [2010] EWCA Civ 715) on 23 June this year.

The Master of the Rolls said in that decision that he accepted the BBC’s argument that once it was established that the information sought was held by the corporation for the purposes of journalism, it was effectively exempt from production under the Act, even if it was also being held for other purposes.