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Policy on releasing meeting minutes (FOI)

Policy on releasing meeting minutes (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 20 May 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


I refer to a previous Freedom of Information request at the following link:

Competent Authorities Ministers, Emergencies Council and Council of Ministers meetings (FOI)

This request was refused on the grounds of safe space and chilling effect arguments in which it was said:

"Noting all the above, and while the “chilling effect” arguments remain a strong basis for non-disclosure the “safe space” argument diminishes over time, especially as policy becomes finalised and public."

Please can I have some indication as to exactly when the argument has diminished to the point in time as the minutes can be released, for instance would five years time be a reasonable timescale for disclosure of minutes, as any decision making by then will be fairly historical, in terms of impeding future discussions? If not five years, how long?

Would disclosure arguments also be voided if the Ministers in question were no longer States members?


There are no defined timescales. This is a matter that is considered on a case-by-case basis, applying the facts in each case.

The chilling effect does gradually reduce over time.

It is not the case that disclosure arguments are voided once a Minister ceases to be a Minister, especially in a small jurisdiction where the chilling effect on individuals is likely to be much stronger.

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