The Scottish Government's appeal against a ruling by the Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren Fitzhenry, will be held on Wednesday.

Despite being a fairly technical matter in a court of session, the case has attracted significant interest because it relates to the investigation into Alex Salmond, and more specifically the conduct of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

With all the legal jargon though things can get a little confusing - here's what's happening explained in five minutes.

What is happening?

The Scottish Government is appealing a decision made by the Scottish Information Commissioner relating to a freedom of information (FOI) request.

Holyrood responded to a request by a Mr Benjamin Harrop, stating that it did not hold some of the information which had been requested, and that the information it did hold was exempt from disclosure.

The Information Commissioner ruled that it had failed to identify all information which would have fallen under the request, and to provide a new response to Mr Harrop.

The Scottish Government is appealing against this and the hearing will be held at the Court of Session today.

The Herald: Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon

How does it relate to Nicola Sturgeon?

The FOI was related to James Hamilton’s investigation into the former First Minister under the Ministerial Code.

It relates to the investigation into her predecessor, Alex Salmond, as a result of complaints received by two civil servants regarding his behaviour during his time as First Minister.

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Ms Sturgeon met with Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, on 29 March 2018 and subsequently met three times with Mr Salmond between 2 April and 18 July 2018.

It was alleged that she did not properly record these meetings, and/or whether she attempted to influence the conduct of the internal investigation into Mr Salmond’s behaviour.

Ms Sturgeon referred herself to the ministerial code, an investigation was carried out and it was determined she was not in breach.

The Herald: Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond

What happened then?

Mr Harrop made a request under the Freedom of Information Act (2002) for all written evidence gathered by Mr Hamilton’s investigation.

The Scottish Government declined to provide this information as Mr Hamilton was an independent figure, therefore the information was not held by them.

They also relied on the exemption in section 30(c) of the Act that disclosure of the information would cause substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs.

Mr Harrop appealed to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

What did the Information Commissioner find?

The information commissioner found ministers were wrong to say they did not hold the information - it was the Scottish Government which had put in place the procedure that information was to be restricted to Mr Hamilton and therefore could revoke it if it wished to.

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He ordered the ministers to carry out a further review and respond to Mr Harrop anew by 17 March 2023.

Why is the Scottish Government appealing?

They argue that the commissioner has taken too technical an approach to the word "held".

They argue that while it would technically be possible for them to access the evidence, it would take away the independence of Mr Hamilton, and that the evidence was not gathered for any ministerial function.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, will all the information be released?

Not necessarily. The Information Commissioner only ruled on whether the Scottish Government held the information - not whether the exemption is cited would apply.

Ministers would have to carry out a fresh review as it would have been determined that the information was held - but not whether it was exempt under the FOI Act.