Public Law

The Practice

Arthur Cox’s Public Law Group advises on matters of interpretation of public general law, including the Constitution of Ireland, Statutes, Statutory Instruments and the transposition of European Communities Law in the area, as well as the related areas of Public ProcurementPPP/PFI and Infrastructure, Construction & Utilities.

The Group has a particular focus on the Freedom of Information Act, (acting for “public bodies”) as so designated for purposes of the Act and for those having dealings with those bodies or seeking access to records or information.

Please also visit our Procurement Law Update, which bring you the latest news, updates and commentary on issues that affect projects and procurement law on the island of Ireland.

Expertise

The Group advises on circumstances in which information may be disclosed or may be require to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and other information entitlements, including under the EC Public Procurement Directives and with the Environment and Planning Group, the European Communities Act, 1972 (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 1998.

We advise public bodies, board members and senior executives in the public sector, and others, in relation to the obligations governing disclosure of information, acceptance of gifts and otherwise pursuant to the Ethics in Public Office Acts and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001, the filing of returns and other matters pertaining to the Government Guidelines for State Bodies.

Experience

We have extensive experience advising in all areas of Public Law including:

  • Detailed advices on the Freedom of Information Act
  • Detailed submissions for clients addressing requests for disclosure of records or statements of reasons for acts affecting certain persons (including on the grounds of confidentiality and commercial sensitivity) or on consultation with a third party under Section 29 of the Act.
  • Appeals to the Information Commissioner (from whom there is limited recourse to the High Court).
  • Detailed advices and draft text and submissions pursuant to the information entitlements for underbidders and others pursuant to the EC Directives on Public Procurement and the European Communities Act, 1972 (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 1998 (and its predecessors) and advising on these overlapping jurisdictions.
  • Advising on the foregoing matters and “personal information” (Section 28 of the 1997 Act) in the context of national and EC Data Protection Law.
  • Detailed advices on the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001.
  • Filings for purposes of the Ethics in Public Office Acts and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001.
  • Operation of Government Guidelines for State Bodies (1992) and Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2001).