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FoI and Ministerial vetoes

Published Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw, issued the first ministerial veto in relation to a FoI request on 23 February 2009 for the contents of the legal advice on military action against Iraq. Two subsequent vetoes were issued protecting communications on devolution issues and a fourth on. A fourth veto was issued on 8 May 2012 blocking the release of the NHS Transitional Risk Register and a fifth in July 2012 blocking extracts from Cabinet minutes on the military action against Iraq in 2003. The most recent, the sixth, was on 16 October 2012, relating to the release of correspondence from Prince Charles to Government departments. This Standard Note traces the history of the veto within FoI legislation and summarises comparative examples abroad.

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The then Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw, issued the first ministerial veto on 23 February 2009 for the contents of the legal advice on military action against Iraq. Two subsequent vetoes were issued protecting communications on devolution issues and a fourth on. A fourth veto was issued on 8 May 2012 blocking the release of the NHS Transitional Risk Register and a fifth in July 2012 blocking extracts from Cabinet minutes on the military action against Iraq in 2003. A sixth was on 16 October 2012, relating to the release of correspondence from Prince Charles to Government departments. This has prompted a Court of Appeal judgment on 12 March 2014 quashing the veto, which is being appealed. A seventh veto was issued in January 2014 in respect of HS2 documents. This Standard Note traces the history of the veto within FoI legislation and summarises comparative examples abroad.

Commons Briefing papers SN05007

Authors: Oonagh Gay; Edward Potton

Topics: Central government, Freedom of information, Ministers

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