James Michael, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and chair of the Centre for Law and Information Policy Advisory Board, will discuss data protection and Freedom of Information past and present in his annual lecture on 20 January 2015. The event is free but you will need to register at this link.

[NB: Details of the Centre’s official launch on 24th February 2015, with an academic workshop and talk by 11KBW’s Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, will be advertised early in the new year – please email judith.townend@sas.ac.uk to indicate your interest in attending]

Details of James Michael’s annual lecture 2015

Title: Data Protection Act 1984, Freedom of Information Act 2000: thirty and fifteen years on – perspectives on the past and prospects for the future

Date: 20 January 2015, 18:00 – 20:00

About the lecture:

Those laws did not take effect in the years of their passage, but their chronological symmetry is convenient for assessment and speculation. What have been their effects and what are likely to be their futures?

Should discussion of the Data Protection Act only mean that ‘chances are you’ll find yourself in conversation with someone who is stifling a yawn’ or ‘legislation which…has had a transformative effect on our lives’ (both from the Guardian, 15 April 2011)?

Was the Freedom of Information Act ‘… a thing so utterly undermining of sensible government’ (Tony Blair, 2010) or ‘a change that is absolutely fundamental to how we see politics developing in this country over the next few years’ which ‘says a great deal about how it [government] views power itself and how it views the relationship between itself and the people who elected it’ (Tony Blair, 1996)?

The Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998 came from the Council of Europe’s Convention and the EU Directive. The Freedom of Information Act came from comparative law, at least in part from the 1966 US law of the same name, but there now is a Council of Europe Convention on the subject. Is there any prospect for the two subjects to be addressed further by international law? If so, how could it be done, and by whom?

Speaker: James Michael, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Chair: Jules Winterton, Director, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Organised by: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DR

How to book: Register your place at IALS Events / Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.