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Freedom of Information in Scotland in Practice$
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Kevin Dunion

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781845861223

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845861223.001.0001

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The State of Freedom of Information in Scotland

The State of Freedom of Information in Scotland

(p.437) Chapter 12 The State of Freedom of Information in Scotland
Freedom of Information in Scotland in Practice

Kevin Dunion

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter assesses the state of freedom of information (FOI) in Scotland since the passage of FOI laws, with the goal of taking stock, considering the country’s experience, reflecting on how far it has come compared with others, and anticipating the challenges that lie ahead. It first compares FOI in Scotland with that in the rest of the UK in terms of the ‘harm’ test, the time limit for responding to a request for information, and public authorities’ response to a requirement for review. It also compares the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) with the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, the ministerial veto on disclosure and moves to curb the use of FOI rights in the UK, and proposed amendments to FOISA. Finally, the chapter considers FOISA within the context of international norms and principles, along with international attitudes to FOI.

Keywords:   freedom of information, Scotland, UK, harm test, request for information, public authorities, Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Freedom of Information Act, ministerial veto, disclosure

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