Freedom of Information
Enacted in 2000 and in operation in the UK since
2005, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has revealed information which has generated calls for constitutional reform. A
massive 'information jurisprudence' has developed through the decisions of the Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal
and the courts. Governments' responses to the war on terror have involved increased resort to claims of national security
and accompanying secrecy, but these developments have to exist alongside demands for FOI and transparency. FOI has to balance
access to and protection of personal information, and major amendments have been made to the Data Protection Act in order
to balance the competing demands of transparency and privacy. This detailed discussion of FOI laws and personal data laws
examines the historical development of secrecy, national security and government, and their modern context.
themes and novel problems; 2. National security; 3. Government and information; 4. The Freedom of Information Act 2000; 5.
The exemptions; 6. Decision notices and appeals; 7. The environmental information regulations; 8. Privacy, access and data
protection; 9. Claims and counter claims; 10. Secrecy and access in the European Union; 11. Openness, information and the
courts; 12. Freedom of information: overseas experience; 13. Conclusion.
This detailed discussion of FOI laws and personal
data laws examines the historical development and their modern context.