Nevertheless, R (On theApplication of Evans) v Attorney General1 consideredan appeal put forward under the Freedom of Information Act2 bya journalist (Evans), for certain letters that were written, by Prince Charles,out to several governmental departments.
The letters included establishment of persuadingefforts, violating the rule that the monarch and their heirs would persist politicalneutrality. Although it was ruled by the Upper Tribunal that the letters shouldbe publicised, the government, via the Attorney General, had an opposing pointof view, and issued a certificate under S53(2) of the Freedom of Information Act.This resulted in a veto effect on the Upper Tribunal’s decision, establishing anattempt by a court to publicise any information considered inappropriate.
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Evansapplied for a review by the judiciary of the certificate’s insurance, howeverthe Higher Court denied the application – the Court of Appeal overturned thisdecision, and quashed the Attorney General’s certificate. The ruling was thatthe Attorney General did not have “reasonable grounds” to come to this decision.This case highlights that the courts are capable of behaving in a well-developedand strong manner with regards to the enforcement of the boundaries of the separationof powers, regardless of the words used by parliament.
Through this, Parliamenthave proven that they are prepared to take a position that could potentially becontroversial on the meaning behind Parliament’s words. In this instance, thecourt is claimed to have ignored the statutory intentions of Parliament. 12015 UKSC 212Freedom of Information Act 2000