Sunday Times in Scottish press freedom victory

The Sunday Times Scotland has won a ground-breaking decision on press freedom in Scotland.

It allowed the newspaper to publish a report which revealed a league table, rating the performances of judges.

It is the first time that information about the performances of Scottish judges has been published, and follows eight months of negotiations between the Sunday Times Scotland and the Scottish Executive.

It was also the first case to be investigated by Kervin Dunion, the Scottish information commissioner, whose intervention ensured that the material requested was eventually made public.

The Sunday Times Scotland requested the information about the performances of judges from the Scottish Executive in January.

It was referred to the Scottish Court Service, which twice refused to release the statistics. Those decisions prompted an appeal to the Scottish information commissioner, who ruled the information should be handed over under the code of practice on access to Scottish Executive information.

“I am pleased to have been able to affect a settlement between the Sunday Times and the Scottish Courts Service,” said Dunion.

“As a result, information of public interest has been revealed that would have remained undisclosed.”

By Hamish Mackay

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