FOI: Exciting times lie ahead for lawyers

"The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) went live on 1 January 2005 [...] The consequences are potentially revolutionary, with untold millions of pages of documents and computer files
being opened up to public scrutiny. A recent survey by the Information Commissioner showed that individual departments have recognised that ‘cultural change’ is required and are taking steps to bring this about. The last few months have seen a series of juicy revelations based on application of freedom of information principles. These include matters such as MP’s expenses, judge’s pensions and the increasing expense of running the Scottish Information Commissioner’s office. Such issues will inevitably grow.

Areas of dispute that are likely to result in litigation concern the qualified exemptions relating to investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities, law enforcement, formulation of government policy and prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs. It seems likely that many of these disputes will have to be resolved by the courts [...] Exciting times lie ahead for public and information lawyers."

The Freedom of Information Act: social revolution or most notable for its exemptions? (, 17 January 2005)