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Treasury appeal in tribunal clash

The Treasury is appealing to the High Court over the Information Tribunal’s decision to force it to disclose if it sought legal opinion on whether the Financial Services and Markets Bill complied with human rights law.

The original Freedom of Information request was submitted by the IFA Defence Union in April 2005. In May 2008, the IT dismissed an appeal by the Treasury against an Information Commissioner ruling from May 2007 forcing the Government to disclose the information.

IFA Defence Union founder and chairman Evan Owen says: “I cannot see any merit for their appeal but it indicates that there is more to this than meets the eye. If FSMB is compatible with human rights legislation, why are they struggling with this?”

The original IT ruling dismissed the Government’s view that disclosure of those occasions when legal advice has been sought would result in revealing those matters which had a particularly high political priority or undue legal sensitivity.

The Treasury declined to comment.

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