Areas of work
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides significant and wide-ranging rights of access to information held by public authorities, including the government. Public authorities may only withhold information if an exemption in the Act allows them to. Information included within certain exemptions still may have to be disclosed if disclosure is in the public interest. Applicants who believe information has been unjustifiably withheld can apply to the Information Commissioner, who can order disclosure. It is now clear from the Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v Charity Commission that the Freedom of Information Act is not the only route to access information held by public authorities, and that as such authorites may need to consider whether they have other common law or statutory obligations to disclose requested information.
Members of 5RB are able to advise and act in respect of requests for access to information made of a public authority, as well as for individuals, journalists and media organisations seeking to obtain information.