FOI Act Request for RRA case law.

   
A series of emails sent by the Vice President of F.U.E.N. to Ian Naysmith and his head of department Helen Judge requesting Race Relations Case law for British National Minorities the Welsh and the Irish.

What are they hiding?

email 1. Feb 04 2007 - To Ian Naysmith

Dear Mr Naysmith

I would be most grateful if you would provide me with the Race Relations Act case law judgements that determine the following groups as racial groups within the meaning of the Act:

1) the Welsh

2) the Irish

Yours sincerely

Dr Nigel Hicks
------------------------

email 2. Feb 14 2007 - To Ian Naysmith

Dear Mr Naysmith

I write to remind you that the supplementary questions I posed to you on 4 February 2007 remain unacknowledged and unanswered.

In the event that you have mislaid my previous e-mail, I am copying it for your quick attention below. (copy of the above email was attached).

Yours sincerely

Dr Nigel Hicks
--------------------------

email 3. Feb 15 2007 - To Ian Naysmith's head of Department Helen Judge

Dear Ms Judge

I am writing to you, as head of the department, following Mr Naysmith's repeated failure to acknowledge my request for information submitted to him on 4 February 2007. Are the issues involved in this request subject to a public interest test? If not, I would be most grateful if you would attend to the matter personally and immediately.

The information I require is very straight forward and is as follows.

Please provide me with the Race Relations Act case law judgements that determine the following groups as racial groups within the meaning of the Act:

1) the Welsh

2) the Irish

Yours sincerely

Dr Nigel Hicks
----------------------------

Reply from Helen Judge - Feb 15 2007

Dear Dr Hicks

Thank you for your email of 15th February concerning your earlier email to Ian Naysmith dated 4th February.

We aim to repy to public correspondence within the departmental target of 15 working days. You will appreciate that we have a very high volume of work and cannot routinely acknowledge correspondence immediately.

I'm afraid, however, that we do not consider your request to be a Freedom of Information Request, as it does not relate to information "held" by us as a public authority. Rather, it is a request for legal advice. The Department does not provide legal advice to members of the public. As such we would advise you to seek independent legal advice.

With kind regards
Helen Judge


Please note my new contact details
Helen Judge
Head of Race Equality Unit
Communities and Local Government
7th Floor, Eland House
London SW1E 5DU
020 7944 0538
helen.judge@communities.gsi.gov.uk
------------------------------------

email 3. Feb 16 2007

Dear Ms Judge,

I, and others, note your tortuous attempt to avoid responding to what is, in reality, a very simple FIA request for information. Please note that my request for documentation is not, as you wrongly assert, a request for legal advice. My request is for documentation held by your department in respect of an assertion made FIRSTLY, on the 27 Feb 2004 by Government, in the form of a statement by Home Office Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Fiona Mactaggart MP [in response to a question to the Race Equality Unit when the REU was part of the Home Office], to Andrew George MP, and SECONDLY, to a parallel assertion made on 1st April 2004 to Follett Stock Solicitors [Truro, Cornwall] by Ian Naysmith, Head of the International Section of the REU.

The assertions are as follows:

The 27 Feb 2004 assertion by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Fiona Mactaggart to Andrew George MP stated: "The Welsh and Irish meet the definition of racial groups under the Race Relations Act 1976".

The 1st April 2004 assertion by Ian Naysmith of the Race Equality Unit to Follett Stock, solicitors: "The Welsh and Irish constitute members of racial groups under the Race Relations Act 1976".

Clearly, as the Government, and your department have made these assertions, you [on behalf of Government and the REU] must be in possession of documentation evidencing the claim made, otherwise the Government, and your department, could not have made such assertions.

The enquiry is now 14 days old. Therefore please acknowledge that my request has been accepted by your department as being a FIA request. Secondly, please supply the documentation requested within the prescribed time limit, with that limit beginning on 4th Feb 2007.

Yours sincerely

Dr Nigel Hicks
Vice-President
The Federal Union of European Nationalities.
------------------------------------------

email 4 - 09 March 2007

Dear Ms Judge

Since you have failed to not only acknowledge my Freedom Of Information Act request for information but also failed to provide the data that I requested in the 20 working day stipulated period, I shall be referring this matter, together with supplementary issues relating to Mr Naysmith's failure to provide satisfactory reasons why a public interest test is taking such a long time to complete regarding another FOI request that I made at the beginning of January, I have no option other than to refer these matters to the Information Commissioner for his attention.

For the avoidance of doubt, a copy of my last unacknowledged and unanswered e-mail to you, together with the earlier exchange is copied below this message. In the meantime, the information I am requesting is as follows:

Please provide the Race Relations Act caselaw judgements that determine the following groups as racial groups within the meaning of the Act:

1) the Welsh

2) the Irish.

Yours sincerely

Dr Nigel Hicks

Copies to the Council of Europe

 

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