Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. Any legal eagles out there know anything about the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and how it is impacted by the August DIN gagging order?
  2. Purely a layman's view, but my first thought was "That'll make an interesting test case". I don't doubt MoD will be of the opinion the DIN takes precedence, so it'll be nice to see if the Courts agree.
  3. Not a legal answer, but I understand that the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 does not apply to the armed forces.

    This fact is not immediately obvious from the text of the Act, which has specific exclusions for the police, Security Service, etc and no mention of the armed forces. The 1998 Act however inserts new sections into parts of the Employment Relations Act 1996, and those parts of the ERA 1996 do not apply to the armed forces. See section 192 of the ERA 1996. The Government has the power to alter the applicability of the ERA by Order in Council, but I am not aware that any relevant changes have been made.

    PS ref smartascarrots' point, legislation would trump any DIN.
  4. Like most disclosure acts they can be overcome...especially this one.
  5. Hackle is right, military personnel exempt from the protection afforded by this Act. Oh well, there is always Arrse, and the, no longer serving personnel here, happy to spread the word. 8)
  6. My bold. Actually I regard it as a moral duty to do so! After all, there has to be some counterbalance to Ministerial and Government propaganda, and it's not very evident from the opposition parties at present.

  7. Wot he said.
  8. I'm not a lawyer but funny enough I was discussing this with a friend who is just the other day. His slant on it (my words so I may not have it 100%) The public Interest Disclosure Act is there to protect the employments rights of someone who goes public with regard to some fairly serious events, exclusion from the act does not exclude your morale or legal right to, for example: report the fact that a crime has been committed or a miscarriage of justice carried out or any of the other quaifying disclosures of the act.

    Exclusion may however focus your mind on reporting said events via the most appropriate route.
  9. ... and BAFF.
  10. I feel quite the opposite to this. I feel that I may not be aware of all the security implications for serving personnell if I publicise information that is not in the public domain. My opposition to this government will be made clear in my vote. at the next election , as it was at the last one where ,unfortunately, I voted with the minority. Much as I get annoyed at MOD I am aware that they may be seeing a much bigger picture than I do.
  11. Quite right, it will clearly endanger national security if anyone reveals any information about substandard accommodation, medical care, PTSD treatment, legal aid for inquests, social housing for retirees, or problems with disability pensions.
  12. Firstly, my apologies to Hackle and BAFF, doing a fine and increasingly essential job. (Won't be long before the Chiefs are giving you full briefings on what Liabour are up to).

    Secondly,Craftsmanx, I understand and recognise the sentiment expressed in your post. My advice is to stay in your comfort zone at all times. That said, if it ain't on the front page of a newspaper somewhere, I doubt it will get fixed, hence the DIN. Other countries have legislated so that military personnel have a right to be heard; don't expect that any time soon here in UK.
  13. Most (one would hope that all) here understand the need for security, but I suspect that very little published on ARRSE has real security implications - much as MoD might like to imply that it does.

    And as to MoD's 'bigger picture', yes that's possible. Tomorrow's headlines are a prime consideration, of course, and the possibility of embarrassment of Ministers is critical. I'd prefer to say that MoD has a 'different' picture.

    Whilst I'm certain that those on operations are well capable of keeping quiet, I've got major doubts about the politically driven MoD.
  14. I think Gen Jackson no less recently pointed out that the Official Secrets Act is not the "Official Embarrassment Act".
  15. PS I do acknowledge craftsmanx's concerns, and I also applaud his emphasis of the importance of making one's own voting choice in elections.