Legal advice sought by Education Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02778
Date received: 15 November 2017
Date responded: 29 November 2017

Information requested

The following recorded information held with regard to the legal advice:

1. The date that the legal advice was sought.

2. The name of the firm of solicitors from whom the advice was sought.

3. A listing of the documentation sent to the solicitors to inform their deliberations.

4. The request itself detailing the questions or issues for which Education Scotland sought legal advice.

5. The legal advice received from the solicitors by Education Scotland.

6. The date of the legal advice document as sent by the solicitors.


1. The answer to your question is 10 May 2017.

2. The answer to your question is the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information requested because an exemption under section 36(1), legal advice of FOISA applies to that information. The reason why that exemption applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.

4. See answer to question three.

5. See answer to question three.

6. The answer to your question is 17 May 2017.

Reasons for not providing information

Section 36(1) - legal advice.

An exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) applies to some of the information requested because it is legal advice and disclosure would breach legal professional privilege.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open and transparent government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence, like any other public or private organisation.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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