Access to Information Laws: Overview and Statutory Goals

Access to Information Laws: Overview and Statutory Goals

“OVERVIEW

As of September 2013, at least 95 countries had nationwide laws establishing the right of, and procedures for, the public to request and receive government-held information ( including four with actionable ATI regulations,i.e. Argentina, China, Niger and Tunisia). For a list of these countries, click here. For a similar list that also contains numerous self-governing territories and other sub-national entities with right to information (RTI) laws, compiled by Dutch FOI expert Roger Vleugels, click here.

The first RTI law was enacted by Sweden in 1766, largely motivated by the parliament’s interest in access to information held by the King. Finland was the next to adopt, in 1951, followed by the United States, which enacted its first law in 1966, and Norway, which passed its laws in 1970.  The interest in RTI took a leap forward when the United States, reeling from the 1974 Watergate scandal, passed a tough FOI law in 1976, followed by passage by several western democracies of their own laws (France and Netherlands 1978, Australia and New Zealand 1982, Canada 1983, Columbia and Denmark 1985, Greece 1986, Austria 1987, Italy 1990). By 1990, the number of countries with RTI/FOI laws had climbed to 14. . .” Full resource on Right2INFO.org website

The Author

The Right of Access to Legal Information

The Right of Access to Legal Information

Access (Right) to Legislation, Access (Right) to Judicial Decisions, Access (Right) to Public Information, Access (Right) to Government-held Information, Access to information, Right to Information
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