FOIA Section 26 Exemption

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Section 26: Defence

Section 26 applies to information whose disclosure would be likely to prejudice:

1. the defence of the British Islands or any colony; or
2. the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces of the Crown or any forces co-operating with them.

In order to determine whether section 23 applies it will be necessary to establish how exactly these defence matters would be prejudiced by disclosure of the information.

Key points:

  • It will often be necessary to consult the Ministry of Defence in order to evaluate how and to what extent defence matters would be prejudiced by disclosure;
  • Section 26 is subject to a public interest balance.

DCA Guidance: http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/guidance/exguide/sec26/index.htm

What the law says

26 Defence

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—
(a) the defence of the British Islands or of any colony, or
(b) the capability, effectiveness or security of any relevant forces.
(2) In subsection (1)(b) “relevant forces” means—
(a) the armed forces of the Crown, and
(b) any forces co-operating with those forces,
or any part of any of those forces.
(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

Decision Notices

No Decision Notices have been issued relating to this Exemption.