Information relating to parental alienation: FOI review

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

Information requested

The Scottish Parliament Justice Committee published its Stage 1 Report on the Children (Scotland) Bill on May 1st, 2020, Whereby it is stated:

“The Scottish Government consulted on the inclusion of a specific factor relating to parental alienation but ultimately decided against it. Scottish Government officials told the Committee that the term parental alienation is ‘much disputed’ and therefore the Government concluded that it would not be appropriate to include it in the Bill.”

Please advise what the specific factor relating to parental alienation?

Please supply all information contained in your records whereby the term parental alienation is much disputed?


I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to supply all information contained in our records whereby the term parental alienation is much disputed.

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications to the estimated
costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested. However, I have determined that the cost of complying with your request would still exceed the upper cost limit and I am therefore satisfied that we were entitled to refuse your request under section 12 of FOISA.

I note the points you raise in relation to the application of exemptions, and in particular information
which may fall to be redacted under section 38(1)(b) (personal information). To help inform my decision I have reviewed the cost estimate provided to you in our initial response and after completing the work required in a sample of documents, I have estimated that the cost of responding to your request in full would be £1,065. Full detailed costings are set out in the Annex to this letter.

I acknowledge that our initial response could have been more helpful in providing some advice to help you narrow the scope of your request. You may therefore wish to reduce the scope of your request in order that the cost can be brought below £600. You may wish to consider narrowing the scope of your request by specifying a time period in which you are most interested. You may also wish to modify the request to simplify the terms of the request which may reduce the time it takes to confirm whether the information once located is within the request and to specify types of information you are most interested in. The types of information returned for this search included consultation responses, ministerial submissions, communications between officials, communications with external stakeholders and communications with members of the public.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202000076045 - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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