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12/10/2011

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It seems to me that you are mistaking a mechanistic argument fro one of principle. As the subject access right in the context of litigation is already afforded by the discovery process, the appropriate mechanism is by discovery rather than by the general mechaniism afforded in the Data Protection Act.

It is not a question of whether the subject has access, but by what mneans it is afforded.

Simons comment @10:04 on 13/10/2011 expresses a view that there is no difference between allowing access to information held by others through a specific hierarchical structure requiring the use of methods and at costs determined for/by that structure, or accessing that information by another means with different costs.

Whilst the comment could be viewed as being based on a protectionist stance resistant of change there is a more fundamental issue at stake indicative of something arising out of King Solomons heritage and that is: Does society (or the legal system as part of that) wish to be moved by brute force and ignorance, or wisdom. If the former, controlling access to all information within whichever particular hierarchical system is in quesiton would assist; If the later, open access to information via a number of means would seem requisite. In the case of the legal system that could be interpreted as; is information managed to find justice, or managed to support the justice system.

Whilst opinion polls are not directly comparable with the legal system an item recently published on a blog at:-
http://timvangelder.com/2011/10/14/what-do-we-think-part-1-public-attitude-versus-public-wisdom/
is struggling with the same question in a different context. Part of the conclusion there, which appears to generically inform this subject access debate, is that individuals do/should be allowed to deliberate. And to independently deliberate, information supplied by different sources, as well as different viewpoints is required.

It will be interesting to hear what Chris and others have to say about this perceived clash of legal methodology.

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