“1) All internal and external correspondence within and sent or received by the Scottish Government including attached documents, meeting handouts, memos, briefings to ministers, attendee lists, location of meeting, notes, minutes, or OneNote memos, linked to the following meetings:
1a) The Lord Advocate's meetings with Iain Livingstone of Police Scotland and Michelle Macleod of Police Investigations and Review Commissioner on 01/06/21.
1b) The Lord Advocate's meetings with Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland and Laura Paton of HM Chief Inspector of Prosectution in Scotland on 02/06/21.
1c) The Lord Advocate's meeting with Sir John Gillen on 15/06/21.
1d) The Lord Advocate's meeting with Roddy Dunlop on 21/06/21.
1e) The Lord Advocate's meeting with Iain Livingstone of Police Scotland on 23/06/21.”
I attach a copy of some of the information you requested in relation to the meetings with Sandy Brindley (1b) and Sir John Gillen (1c). You may wish to contact the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service at FOI@COPFS.gov.uk who may be able to provide you with information related to the Lord Advocate's meetings which focus on matters related to the Lord Advocate's role as head of the systems of prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections; 30(b)(ii) (Free and frank discussion for the purposes of deliberation), 36 (confidentiality), and 38(1)(b) (Personal information) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) (Free and frank discussion for the purposes of deliberation) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to information which would, or would be likely to, substantially inhibit the free and frank provision of advice for the purposes of deliberation.
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 disclosure may contribute to or inform debate on a matter of public interest. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring open discussions between administrations, particularly where decisions have not been taken.
An exemption under section 36 (confidentiality) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to information in respect of which a claim to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings.
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 advisors and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are note required to consider the public interest in disclosing the information.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
- File type
- 31 page PDF
- File size
- 1.2 MB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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