The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (also referred to as 'the EIRs') came into force on 1 January 2005. Every Scottish public authority has a duty to make environmental information available on request. There has been legislation governing access to environmental information in the UK for over 15 years. The Environmental Information Regulations 1992, which were amended in 1998, gave the public the right to ask for information which "relates to the environment" and which was held by a "relevant person".
In 1998, the UK signed the Aarhus Convention from which an EU Directive was then derived. The new EIRs were brought into force to ensure that Scotland complies with the Convention and the EU Directive. There are separate regulations for the rest of the UK, which are enforced by the UK Information Commissioner.
A full text of all legislation, including amendments to date, is available on The National Archives' legislation.gov.uk website:
The Scottish Information Commissioner has published detailed guidance for public authorities on handling requests for information under the EIRs. You can download a full copy of the Guidance here:
Alternatively, individual sections of the Guidance are available to download as individual briefings on the following pages:
The Scottish Government's Section 60 Code of Practice on dealing with requests for environmental information can also be viewed here: Section 60 Code of Practice.