Environmental Information Regulations 2004—appeals and enforcement
Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood
Environmental Information Regulations 2004—appeals and enforcement

The following Environment practice note Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004—appeals and enforcement
  • Brexit impact
  • How and when should a requestor complain?
  • Internal complaints procedure
  • Appeal against outcome of internal complaints procedure
  • Outcomes from complaint to ICO
  • Decision notices
  • Information notices
  • Enforcement notices
  • Compliance with notices—contempt of court
  • More...

A requestor, or more appropriately a complainant, may complain about the way a request for environmental information has been handled if they consider that a public authority has failed to comply with a requirement under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, SI 2004/3391 (EIR 2004).

The first step is to raise the matter with the relevant public authority. If the issue is still unresolved, the further steps outlined in this Practice Note should be followed.

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

How and when should a requestor complain?

Internal complaints procedure

In the first instance, the complaint should be made to the relevant public authority itself, which is required to have in place a process to handle internal complaints. The complaint should be made within 40 working days after the date on which the complainant considers that the public authority failed to comply with the EIR.

On receiving a complaint, the public authority must (free of charge):

  1. consider the complaint and any supporting evidence produced by the complainant

  2. decide whether

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