SCOTTISH MINISTERS 0 (nil) FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 1 (won)
The Scottish Information Commissioner won two cases against the Scottish Ministers in decisions handed down by the First Division of the Court of Session on 23 January 2007. One concerned a planning application for a waste disposal site at Trearne Quarry in Ayrshire, the other the non-implementation of rights of non-lawyers under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 to conduct litigation in the Court of Session. In both the Ministers attempted to invoke exceptions provided by the FoI legislation to prevent disclosure – release prejudicial to the conduct of public affairs in both cases, and additionally material relating to the framing of public policy in the non-lawyers’ rights one. The court rejected these claims, although the opinions do not use the sweeping language already noted in the only previous FoI decision, also won by the Information Commissioner (see No 615). It is thought likely that the Ministers will appeal to the House of Lords. The court opinions can meantime be read at http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2007CSIH08.html.