Untangling the spider’s web: Evans at the Supreme Court – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

‘On Friday, 27th March, the Supreme Court handed down a decision which will be as much of interest to public lawyers as information rights practitioners alike. Evans, a journalist for the Guardian newspaper utilised the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 to seek the disclosure of letters sent by Prince Charles to seven government departments between September 2004 and March 2005. The departments refused to disclose the letters (so-called “black spider” memos on account of the Prince’s handwriting) on the basis that they were exempt from doing so. In their view the letters represented private correspondence which effectively allowed the Prince to prepare for “kingship.” Evans subsequently complained to the Information Commissioner who upheld the refusal before appealing to the Information Tribunal. The Tribunal held that many of the letters should be disclosed as they constituted “advocacy correspondence.”’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 31st March 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk