Why do the Environmental Information Regulations have to be different from Freedom of Information Act?
There have been Environmental Information Regulations in the UK since 1992. They are based on European Legislation.
In 1998 the UK was a signatory to an international convention, the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.
Because of the principles laid down in the Aarhus Convention, the European Union introduced a new Directive on public access to environmental information (2003/4/EC). As with all member states the UK had to update its Environmental Information Regulations in line with this Directive.
In contrast, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is domestic law and was drawn up in accordance with the wishes of Parliament. Both the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into effect on 1 January 2005.
Page last modified: 9 October 2007
Page published: 21 September 2005