7 St Andrew’s Square London W11 1RH

Mr Robert McMorran Judicial Co-operation Unit Extradition Section Home Office 5th Floor, Fry Building 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF 6th February 2012 Ref: 20979

Dear Mr McMorran Thank you very much for your letter of 6th February in response to my Freedom of Information request of 4th December. There are a number of questions arising from your response, which I would be grateful to receive answers to – either as an addition to your response, or else if necessary by means of the independent internal review of the handling of my request to which you refer in your letter. In relation to Question 2 of my request, I was not aware that there is any such department within the government of the UK called Department of Justice – could you please confirm therefore whether I am correct to infer that the panel’s visit to the United States of America was at the behest of representatives of the US government? In relation to Question 3 of my request, asking for copies of the minutes of the meetings you mention, I note that these are refused under Section 27(1) of FOIA. Section 17(1)(c) of the Act states that when relying on an exemption, a public body must state why the exemption applies. I would be grateful if you could please provide this, since it is not otherwise apparent to me. I note also that Section 27 is subject to the public interest test. Since the Baker Review was supposed to be an independent review of UK legislation, there is surely a strong argument in favour of the public interest in disclosing the contents of the panel’s meetings with representatives of foreign governments – if only to avoid the public perception that the integrity of the Baker Review has been fatally compromised by the excessive and disproportionate representations to the panel of US interests. Failure to disclose merely fuels this perception, and is not in keeping with the principles of transparency and ensuring open public access.

I’d be grateful therefore if you could please provide an explanation for your decision, giving details of the ‘careful consideration’ upon which you state the decision is based, including the arguments you have considered in favour of disclosure, and the arguments you are relying on against disclosure. In relation to Question 4 of my request, I shall look forward to your publication of the information requested ‘within a reasonable timeframe’, as per the provisions of the Act. Could you please give me some idea of when this is likely to be? I would also be grateful if you could please supply evidence that the decision to publish the information in question was made prior to your receipt of my request on 5th December 2012. I note that Section 22 is also subject to the public interest test, and I would be grateful to receive your reasoning that the public interest does not warrant disclosure at this time, when the findings of the Baker Review appear to be in such serious conflict with public opinion, and with the facts. Refusal to disclose at this time appears to hinder the public’s informed participation in our democracy. In view of the delays already encountered in the handling of my request, I would be grateful to receive your response to the above points at your earliest convenience. Yours sincerely

Claire Simmons

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