Pinsent Masons denied access to Home Office ID card advice

The government is insisting that the ID cards bill being debated in the House of Commons today is compatible with human rights legislation.

The government moved to confirm its position following revelations that it has banned the release of advice given to it by the attorney general Lord Goldsmith.

The Home Office’s decision to ban the disclosure of advice on whether the introduction of ID cards will invade people’s privacy or human rights came to light after Pinsent Masons unsuccessfully applied for a copy of the Cabinet LLegislative Programme Committee ECHR Memorandum.

Commenting on the Home Office’s decision a spokesperson for the government department said the memorandum was routine and not for public disclosure.

“Every bill from every department will have a memo submitted to the legislative programme committee on its compatibility with human rights legislation. On the face of the bill it is compatible with human rights,” said the spokesperson.

Pinsent Masons is now considering whether or not to reapply for access to the memo in January when the Freedom of Information Act 2000 comes into force.