Monday, 15 December 2008

SCCRC Refuse FOI Request Against Solicitor James Keegan

My MSP has been denied access to information held by SCCRC.

He asked them how many complaints of Defective Representation they had received against James (Jim) Douglas Keegan of Keegan Smith Solicitors, Livingston.
They refused

He went to the FOI Commissioner who has also agreed to withhold this data, see here:

They have quoted the cost being more than £600 and section 194J yet SCCRC themselves have now admitted that section 194J is no longer applicable nor effective due to them having evolved see extract copy from their e-mail to me here:

E-Mail dated 26th September 2008 from SCCRC
Your previous email also referred to the Commission’s use of S194J of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and compliance with S20 of the Data Protection Act as reasons used for not disclosing information in the past. As you will appreciate, the Commission policy on disclosure has evolved, and continues to evolve, as relevant case law becomes more widely available. It is now the Commission’s view that S194J is no longer a defence to Data Protection legislation in its own right, which represents a change in approach since the date of the letter signed by Mr Mullan to which you refer.

I just wonder exactly what the cost would have been and if the SCCRC had asked Bill Kidd if he was willing to foot the bill.

We all know what the SCCRC are hiding but perhaps things might have been different had the jurors names leak been done sooner then we would have had the September e-mail from SCCRC quoted above and the FOI Commissioner would not have been able to withold this info from Bill Kidd:

The Commissioner therefore agrees with the SCCRC that the disclosure of the information
under FOISA would constitute a breach of section 194J of the CPSA and that the disclosure of
the information is therefore exempt in terms of section 26(a) of FOISA.

We also know that at least 4 cases have been before SCCRC concerning the conduct of Mr Keegan and this should be ringing alarm bells.

It should also be ringing alarm bells that SCCRC want to keep this info secret.

It is about time our Courts accepted this Defective Representation is wider and more common than the general public have been led to believe.