Research publications in the Centre for Freedom of Information

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The Centre for Freedom and Information has several publications and articles written by staff on the right to access environmental information.

Exploring a Right to Submit Environmental Information under International Environmental Law

Written by Dr Sean Whittaker for the Journal of Environmental Law, the article considers whether a general right to submit environmental information exists, or should exist, within international law. The article highlights that, despite the text of the Aarhus Convention not supporting the existence of a general right, the normative underpinning of international environmental law does support the creation of such a right in the future. The article concludes by designing a hypothetical right to submit information regime to examine how such a right could operate in practice.

Citizen-Science and the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009

In Scotland, the law governing how the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (‘SEPA’) and other Scottish public authorities manage flood risk is enshrined in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 (‘the Act’).  The Act requires SEPA and other public authorities to provide sufficient information for the public to participate in the development of flood risk management plans and flood protection schemes.

Freedom of Information in Practice, Kevin Dunion (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)

Written by Kevin Dunion, the first Scottish Information Commissioner, this uniquely informed text provides detailed commentary on the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. Fully referenced to the Commissioner's own decisions and court judgements, it also considers in detail key issues of interpretation since the law came into effect. 

The Right of Access to Environmental Information and Legal Transplant Theory: Lessons from London and Beijing

Published during his doctoral studies on the right of access to environmental information, Dr Sean Whittaker (Dundee Law School) examined the environmental information regimes utilised in England and Wales, and China.

Freedom of Environmental Information: Aspirations and Practice

Access to environmental information plays a fundamental role in empowering the public to engage with and participate in environmental decision-making procedures. This engagement is viewed as critical in responding to the environmental crisis that is enveloping both individual states and the world as a whole.

Research on Alternate Dispute Resolution and the Right to Information

Published in Transparecia & Sociedad this article, arising out of research jointly conducted by Kevin Dunion, Honorary Professor, Dundee Law School and Hugo Rojas Professor of Sociology of Law, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile, explains the negotiation and facilitation models applied by the Information Commissioners in Scotland, England, and Ireland to informally resolve, at an early stage, freedom of information complaints or appeals. The citation for the article is Kevin Dunion and Hugo Rojas "Alternative Systems of Dispute Resolution and the Right to Freedom of Information" (2015) 3 Transparencia & Sociedad, pp. 69-91.