I am pleased to report that the ICO is actively considering the Duchy of Lancaster case. Recently I have been contacted by several people about this case and I think it is right that I keep interested parties updated. I do not want to go into too much detail as it might not help the case.
Today (30 November 2009), I receive an update from the ICO and it prompted me to write back quoting the Defra guidance on the coverage of the Environmental Information Regulations:
“2.23 The Regulations do not apply to any public authority when it is acting in a judicial or legislative capacity. This derives from the provision in the Aarhus Convention that the definition of public authority “does not include bodies or institutions acting in a judicial or legislative capacity”.
For example, Magistrates Courts, Criminal Courts, Coroners and other courts or tribunals, the Council for Racial Equality, Ombudsman, Rent Assessment Panels, Licensing Panels, and Social Services Complaints Panels all carry out judicial or legislative functions. These public authorities are, however, public authorities for the purpose of these regulations to the extent that they carry out other functions, such as the management of their own estate and operations.””
I am very grateful to the ICO official assigned to my case for his detailed consideration of the issues.