Publication - FOI/EIR release

Creation of Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group: FOI release

Published: 21 Apr 2021

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

Published:
21 Apr 2021
Creation of Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100156901
Date received: 14 Feb 2021
Date responded: 15 Mar 2021
Information requested

Copies of all information including, but not limited to, minutes, correspondence, notes of telephone calls and emails held by Scottish Government on :-

  • The decision to create the “Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group”, relating to the choice of “misogyny” and not the broader “sex” as discussed as part of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) legislation. All details relating to discussions relating to the scope, and so the name, of this Working Group
  • The selection of the “Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group” members
Response

Attached is copies of most of the information requested in relation to the first and second points. 

In relation to the second point, the answer to your question is that as the working group is an Independent group chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, the consideration and selection of membership fell to the Chair. The Scottish Government provides secretariat support to this group and as such, took no active role in the selection process.

An exemption(s) under section(s) s.29(1)(b), s.30(b)(i), s.30(b)(ii), s.36(i) and s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

s.29(1)(b) is applicable where there are records of discussions between Ministers. This exemption has been applied as there has been advice and discussion between Ministers for the purposes of formation of policy.

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 because of public interest in the Working Group. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that Ministers can effectively provide advice and deliberate on the formation of future policy.

s.30(b)(i) is applicable where there has been the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption has been applied as there has been topics discussed at preliminary stages of consideration when private space to discuss is essential.

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 because of public interest in the Working Group. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing the free and frank exchange of advice for the purposes of considering formation of future policy.

s.30(b)(ii) is applicable where there has been the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption has been applied as there has been topics discussed at preliminary stages of consideration when private space to discuss is essential.

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 because of public interest in the Working Group. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in allowing the free and frank exchange of advice for the purposes of considering formation of future policy and deliberation.

s.36(i) is applicable where the information in respect of which a claim to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings. The exemption has been applied as confidential legal advice has been provided.

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 because of public interest in the Working Group. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that legal advice remains confidential and is for the purposes of considering policy implications.

s.38(1)(b) is applicable where there is personal information. Scottish Government officials under Senior Civil Servant level cannot be named nor can there email address in FOISA releases.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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