Both the media and the public are entitled to ask for information from States committees. But what if those committees say they won’t provide it?
As of this month, the questioner will be able to appeal to an independent body called the Freedom of Information Appeals Panel.
Deputy Yvonne Burford, President of the Scrutiny Management Committee, recently announced the five members of the brand new panel: Advocate Chris Green, Susan Hardy, Rachel Masterton, Advocate Simon Howitt and Advocate Ian Kirk.
Susan Hardy was alerted to the vacancy by an article in the Women in Public Life newsletter. She explained why it caught her attention: “Although my legal career was as a corporate lawyer, my academic interests lie in constitutional law and the role of government in a democracy. So I was particularly interested in the panel’s remit in seeking to strike the balance between necessary confidentiality and disclosure of information in the public interest”.