The Privy Council has refused to provide me with a list of all the Orders of the Privy Council which are part of UK law. I was not even asking for the Orders themselves I just requested a list.

The Privy Council refused on cost grounds.

It would in theory be possible for me to construct my own list by:

(a) visiting the National Archives
(b) visiting the National Library
(c) pursuing my Freedom of Information request restricted to Orders from 1994 onwards

I will certainly be doing (c).

I think there are three general problems here with the British democratic system that need to be resolved:

(1) law is being made by unaccountable bodies and through the exercise of Royal Prerogative by-passing elected law-makers in the House of Commons

(2) the law is not being published in full and in an accessible form

(3) the Freedom of Information Act contains a cost exemption The limit is £600 for central government and Parliament and £450 for other public authorities. It sometimes feels like public authorities know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. There needs to be a mechanism to challenge the cost exemption where the public interests justifies the cost of disclosure.

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