Evans, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Attorney General and Another: Admn 9 Jul 2013

The claimant had requested disclosure of correspondence between Prince Charles and assorted government departments. It had been refused, the Attorney General issuing a certificate under section 53(2) after the Upper tribunal had allowed the claimant’s appeal from an initial refusal, stating that he had, on reasonable grounds, formed the opinion that the Departments had been entitled to refuse disclosure of the letters, and set out his reasoning.
Held: The claim for judicial review failed. Section 53 of the Act was an unusual provision giving an executive override or veto of what (in the case of tribunal and court conclusions) would have been a judicial decision. However the language of the section required there to be reasonable grounds for the certifcate, stated cogently and judged objectively. That statutory test should not be glossed with any Wednesbury style test, and nor was the court to substitute its own assessment for that of the minister. ‘Reasonable grounds’ in section 53(2) simply meant grounds which, when viewed on their own, were ‘cogent’, and there was no reason to constrain the expression to exclude the accountable person from forming his own view simply because it differed from that of a court or tribunal.


Lord Judge LCJ, Davis LJ, Globe J


[2013] EWHC 1960 (Admin), [2013] 3 WLR 1631, [2013] WLR(D) 313, [2014] 1 CMLR 8, [2014] 1 All ER 23


Bailii, WLRD


Freedom of Information Act 2000 53, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3391)


England and Wales


See AlsoEvans v Information Commissioner UTAA 18-Sep-2012
The claimant journalist had requested copies of correspondence between Prince Charles and assorted public bodies.
Held: ‘The Upper Tribunal allows the appeals by Mr Evans. A further decision identifying information to be disclosed to Mr Evans, . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromEvans, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Attorney General and Another CA 12-Mar-2014
The claimant journalist had requested disclosure under the 2000 Act of correspondence between the Prince of Wales and government departments. The Upper Tribunal had found that matters where the prince had acted as advocate were disclosable. . .
Appeal fromEvans v The Information Commissioner and Others CA 12-Mar-2014
Mr Evans had sought release under the 2000 Act of leers from the Prince of Wales to variou government ministers. The Upper Tribunal had allowed his appeal aganst refusal, but the Attorney had then issued a certificate that in his opinion, the . .
At AdmnEvans and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Attorney General SC 26-Mar-2015
The Attorney General appealed against a decision for the release under the Act and Regulations of letters from HRH The Prince of Wales to various ministers and government departments.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority). The A-G had not been . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Constitutional, Administrative

Updated: 04 December 2022; Ref: scu.512206