Communications with Her Majesty etc. and Honours
- The briefing below provides guidance on the consideration and application of the exemptions under section 41 (Communications with Her Majesty etc. and honours) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). There is no direct equivalent to section 41 within the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs), although it is possible that this type of information may fall under one or more of the other exceptions in the EIRs.
- The exemptions under section 41 of FOISA can be split into two parts. Section 41(a) applies to information that relates either to communications with the Queen, other members of the Royal Family or the Royal Household. Section 41(b) applies to information relating to the award of honours.
- Both of the exemptions under section 41 (and the EIR exceptions) are subject to the public interest test.
- The exemptions in section 41 are 'class-based', meaning that they can be applied to information of a certain type without considering the specific content of that information in detail. Requests for information should, however, still be assessed on an individual basis. This is particularly the case when assessing the public interest, where the effect of releasing the specific information will be a relevant factor.
- Public authorities should develop full and appropriate reasoning and / or evidence in support of the application of any exemption.
The briefing below is intended to provide general guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant sections. Please remember that all requests for information must be considered on a case by case basis and the Commissioner's decision is made on the basis of the specific circumstances of each case.
Section 41 exemption briefing (PDF - 107 kB)
Briefing last updated November 2011.
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