Information Rights (fifth edition)
Philip Coppel QC
£200, Hart Publishing
The fifth edition of this well-regarded book represents a significant revamp, updated to reflect the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, including the new law enforcement and intelligence services processing regimes under that act. It also provides comprehensive coverage of the freedom of information legislation, the Environmental Information Regulations and the appeals, remedies and enforcement framework. It helps to build the mosaic of information law regulation by means of an overview which sets the various information rights in a wider human rights and EU law context. The sections on legal privilege, confidentiality, court documents, local government records and comparative jurisdictions (US, Australia, Canada and so on) are also accessible and practical.
At more than 1,200 pages, this is a substantial compendium. As well as the principal author, it includes many distinguished contributors of specialist chapters, including HHJ Shanks on FOIA and EIR appeals, and the workings of the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals, and Bankim Thanki QC on legal professional privilege.
The book is well-structured and clearly signposted, which helps the reader locate specific details without becoming unwillingly submerged in the complexities of the field. It therefore works on two levels: as a thorough map of the information rights landscape in the UK (as at February 2020) and also a methodical introduction to many sometimes arcane areas. Because of this, it is both a useful volume for the specialist and also accessible to those not steeped in the topic.
Written with evident relish for the subject, this is an admirably holistic treatment of the ever-expanding, complex but never more important field of information law and the accompanying rights.
Kate Brimsted is UK head of data privacy and cyber security law at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, London