On appeal from: [2014] EWCA Civ 254

The Supreme Court dismissed the Attorney General’s appeal by a majority of 5:2 involving the challenge brought by a Guardian journalist to seek disclosure of written communications between the Prince of Wales and Parliament. By a majority of 6:1 they ruled that reg 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 was incompatible with the Council Directive 2003/4/EC and must be treated as invalid.

The Attorney General exercised the power to overrule the Upper Tribunal’s decision to disclose the information and issued a certificate under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), s 53, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), reg 18, stating that he had, “on reasonable grounds”, formed the opinion that the departments had been entitled to refuse to disclose the written communications. The Respondent issued proceedings to quash the certificate and the Court of Appeal allowed his appeal on the grounds that the Attorney General’s reasons were not capable of constituting “reasonable grounds” and the certificate was incompatible with the Council Directive 2003/4/EC. Continue reading »