1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

FOIA:UK Police to consider releasing Madeleine information

British police will consider whether it is in the public interest to release information about their involvement in the Madeleine McCann inquiry, officials said today.



A number of media organisations made requests under the Freedom of Information Act for details about their role in the investigation.

But Leicestershire Constabulary, which led the British side of the investigation for their Portuguese counterparts, said it must apply the ’public interest test’ before agreeing to disclosure.

In a written response, Linda Dempsey, of the force’s data protection department, said: “An initial meeting has now been held and from this we are still in the process of preparing the Public Interest Test regarding the intended response.

“It will be necessary to consult with other agencies to assist in this matter in order for us to give the due consideration that must be given to such a high profile case and the need to balance the needs for disclosure or not.

“It is clearly mandated in the Secretary of State’s code of practice part IV that this consultation should take place.”

Source: breaking news

Related: Statutory codes of practice(foi.gov.uk)

1.The Code of Practice, to which this is a foreword, fulfils the duty of the Secretary of State set out in section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to provide guidance to public authorities as to the practice which it would, in his opinion, be desirable for them to follow in connection with the discharge of their functions under Part I of the Act. It is envisaged that Regulations to be made with respect to environmental information will make provision for the issue by the Secretary of State of a Code of Practice applying to the discharge of authorities' functions under those Regulations.


2.This foreword does not form part of the Code itself.


3.The Government is committed to greater openness in the public sector. The Freedom of Information Act will further this aim by helping to transform the culture of the public sector to one of greater openness, enabling members of the public to better understand the decisions of public authorities, and ensuring that services provided by the public sector are seen to be efficiently and properly delivered. Conformity with the Code will assist this.


4.The aims of the Code are to:


*facilitate the disclosure of information under the Act by setting out good administrative practice that it is desirable for public authorities to follow when handling requests for information, including, where appropriate, the transfer of a request to a different authority;


*protect the interests of applicants by setting out standards for the provision of advice which it would be good practice to make available to them and to encourage the development of effective means of complaining about decisions taken under the Act;


*facilitate consideration by public authorities of the interests of third parties who may be affected by any decision to disclose information, by setting standards for consultation; and


*promote consideration by public authorities of the implications for Freedom of Information before agreeing to confidentiality provisions in contracts and accepting information in confidence from a third party more generally.

Part IV

IV Consultation with Third Parties

25.There are many circumstances in which:
*requests for information may relate to persons other than the applicant and the authority; or
*disclosure of information is likely to affect the interests of persons other than the applicant or the authority.

26.It is highly recommended that public authorities take appropriate steps to ensure that such third parties, and those who supply public authorities with information, are aware of the public authority's duty to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, and that therefore information will have to be disclosed upon request unless an exemption applies.

27.In some cases is will be necessary to consult, directly and individually, with such persons in order to determine whether or not an exemption applies to the information requested, or in order to reach a view on whether the obligations in section 1 of the Act arise in relation to that information. But in a range of other circumstances it will be good practice to do so; for example where a public authority proposes to disclose information relating to third parties, or information which is likely to affect their interests, reasonable steps should, where appropriate, be taken to give them advance notice, or failing that, to draw it to their attention afterwards.

28.In some cases, it may also be appropriate to consult such third parties about such matters as whether any further explanatory material or advice should be given to the applicant together with the information in question. Such advice may, for example, refer to any restrictions (including copyright restrictions) which may exist as to the subsequent use which may be made of such information.

29.No decision to release information which has been supplied by one government department to another should be taken without first notifying, and where appropriate consulting, the department from which the information originated.

30.Where information to be disclosed relates to a number of third parties, or the interests of a number of third parties may be affected by a disclosure, and those parties have a representative organisation which can express views on behalf of those parties, the authority may consider whether it would be sufficient to notify or consult with that representative organisation. If there is no representative organisation, the authority may consider that it would be sufficient to notify or consult with a representative sample of the third parties in question.

11 comments:

  1. No doubt on a par with British hostages giving statements whilst their captors hold a gun to their head !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did Leicester Police consider it to be in the public's best interest when they reportedly 'corrupted' interviewing certain Tapas members?
    Or were our police acting under orders to allow Jane Tanner & O'Brian the reported access to each others accounts given to PJ ?

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  3. Just read on Viv's blog that Kate's (contrived) diary shows lies told by the police.

    Mr Amaral's evidenced based testimony was the result of unprecedented Government intervention in his duty and defamatory tabloid reports.

    The high profile campaign fronted by Mitchell resulted in PJ's Report and police files being made available to journalists for publication without unauthorized editing/amendment. Mitchell's need for a 'wall of silence' resulted in corrupt/criminal practice, including (police confirm) ID theft of British & Portuguese websites and plagiarism.

    I've recently learned that 'rogue' journalists are in a minority in Madeleine's case. As a result, the public's entitlement
    to authenticated police information has been fulfilled as the Portuguese Judiciary intended.

    Brown, Britain's unelected undemocratic Dictator, and his minion Mitchell, self appointed Governor of cyberspace, have treated the public and police with equal contempt.

    What goes around, comes around. Freedom of speech is fully reinstated, home and abroad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What happened to our earlier comments ?
    censor in action ? ;))

    ReplyDelete
  5. You can bet your life the police action will be deemed not in the public interest to release, no doubt this is where the ward of court order made on Madeleine kicks in, she is a minor and that order will be used as reasonn for refusal to release iles...they covered up the John Cherles De mendez case but it all came out anyway....time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi KC, no censoring here;) I've just added the above inline comment form to the blog, and it's not working has it should. This xhtml code template it's hard to configure, it's not a blogger standard template, so I have to test and try out a bit more. Anyway if comments don't appear at first just do a refresh (press F5), and it should be sorted.

    xx
    Joana

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  7. Its a pity the UK authorities dont seem to care that the McCanns have not explained the loss of their daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The dogs did not fail a test in the US. Before a retrial in the case to which the McCanns referred,the defendent pleaded guilty and it was revealed that the dogs had, in fact, been correct.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Here are links to the US case which the McCanns used to discredit the dogs.

    Initially the judge discounted the evidence provided by the dogs - it was the strongest evidnce the prosecution had at the time but the judge didn't trust it.

    http://www.channel3000.com/news/14022124/detail.html

    A mistrial was declared after the jury failed to reach a decision.

    While prosecutors were planning a retrial, the murderer confessed - this was in Feb 2008, some time after the McCanns had highlighted the case. The evidence provided by the dogs had been correct after all.

    http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/wireStory?id=4309216

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Rita for sharing the links and for the results on the Zapata case. It's good to know.

    ReplyDelete

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