The UK Information Commissioner’s Office recently confirmed that the disclosure of e-mails and other documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit revealed that some of the scientists violated the UK’s Freedom of Information law by failing to respond to legitimate document requests from other researchers. I blogged on this development here. Initial British news reports indicated that the scientists could not be prosecuted, however, as the legal violations occurred too long ago. But is this really the case? As the Telegraph reports, the relevant provisions in British law appear to preclude prosecution more than six months after authorities became aware of the misconduct, not six months after the misconduct occurred. If this is correct — and I’m not expert on British law — some of the scientists could still be prosecuted for violating England’s Freedom of Information law.
Meanwhile, there are still more (more?!?) revelations of potential scientific misconduct by researchers connected to the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. Details here and here.