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Chapter

Cover Evidence

8. Public Interest Immunity and Related Matters  

Chapter 8 examines the doctrine of public interest immunity. It discusses the development of the law; ‘class’ claims and ‘contents’ claims; national security and analogous concerns; proper functioning of the public service; the two main contexts in which public interest immunity disputes in criminal cases have arisen—the disclosure of the identity of police informers, and the disclosure of the location of police observation points; how the doctrine of public interest immunity stands alongside, and probably overlaps with, the operations of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, which governs the disclosure of sources of information contained in publications.