Protection of Official Data

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

The consultation closed on 3 May. We are now analysing responses.

The Law Commission published a consultation paper on 2 February 2017 which suggests ways to improve the law around the protection of official information.

The relevant statutes – the Officials Secrets Acts in particular – are being independently reviewed to ensure that the law is keeping pace with the challenges of the 21st century.

We have made a number of provisional conclusions as to how the legislation could be improved that we believe will enhance the protection that is currently afforded to official information.

The open public consultation on the protection of official data ran until 3 May.

To access the full consultation paper, provisional conclusions and recommendations, use the links to the documents below.

We are now analysing responses and will report back our final recommendations in due course.

Documents and downloads

Project details

Area of law

Criminal law


Professor David Ormerod QC