The Information Commissioner for Scotland, Rosemary Agnew, has revealed that she will ask a Scottish court for an urgent hearing to press for the ruling Scottish National Party to reveal the legal advice they have taken on Scottish devolution.
The Commissioner believes that Scots have the right under Freedom of Information legislation to know what advice the SNP has received on its proposal for an independent Scotland.
The news has angered SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who has stated that revealing any legal advice would breach the Scottish Ministerial Code, which sets out standards of practice for all Members of the Scottish Parliament.
"The ministerial code tells me I cannot reveal either legal advice, or even whether you have taken legal advice, without the consent of the law officer," he told BBC Scotland.
Mr Salmond has previously stated that a detailed assessment of the legal impact of a move for independence would be included in the white paper on a referendum for an independent Scotland, due to be released next year. It is thought the SNP would like to hold their referendum in 2014.
The issue of Scottish independence from the UK increasingly appears to hinge on whether or not an independent Scotland would be able to maintain membership of the EU. It was recently contended by EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that any new state would need to apply for membership of the EU from scratch.
The Europe question is vital as it would cost Scotland hundreds of millions in lost revenue if it were forced to reapply for membership, effectively making the prospect of independence much less appealing to voters.
The Information Commissioner will ask the Court of Session on Thursday to expedite its decision on an appeal by the SNP against a Freedom of Information Act request concerning legal advice it has received. Ms Agnew is on record as saying that she believes such a disclosure is in the public interest.