3000 euros for a request about corruption
Madrid, 29 October 2012 – Access Info Europe has been ordered to pay €3000 to the Spanish government for asking what it is doing to fight against corruption according to a decision of the Spanish Supreme Court which has ruled that the NGO has not right to ask for such information.
The decision closes a court case based on a information request submitted by an Access Info Europe board member in 2007.
The main argument used by the Supreme Court is that the request by Access Info Europe to the Ministry of Justice for reports on the implementation of the UN Con-vention against Corruption was in fact not an information request but that the NGO was seeking "explanations" from the government. In taking this course, the Su-preme Court avoided addressing the substance of the arguments about international law and jurisprudence on the right of access to information which Access Info Europe had put forward.
Global RTI Rating Website Update Launched
28 September 2012, Halifax/Madrid - Today, Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) launched an improved version of the RTI Rating website. The new website contains updated results on all 93 countries with national right to information laws, searchable on various parameters, including total score and score in each category of the RTI Rating.
Serbia retains top position in the updated rating, with 135 points out of a possible total of 150, while Austria languishes in bottom place, with 39 points. AIE and CLD first launched the RTI Rating website a year ago, on 28 September 2011.
"There has been enormous interest in the RTI Rating over the last year," said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy. "It has stimulated strong media attention in the shortcomings of the RTI laws in many countries, while campaigners have used it to highlight weaknesses in proposed laws in other countries."
10 years of the Freedom of Information Advocates Network and Right to Know Day
Members of the Freedom of Information Advocates Network, a global community of over 200 civil society organisations, will be holding a range of International Right to Know Day activities, including the FOIAnet itself announcing prizes in the right to know photo competition and launching the 10-10-10 Statement on the past decade of advocacy: 10 Successes, 10 Challenges, 10 Goals. Access Info Europe are amoung the active members of the FOIAnet.
The Success of the Right to Know Movement
On Friday 28 September 2012 is the 10th International Right to Know Day and Access Info Europe is marking the tremendous advances made in this right over the past decade with a series of activities around Europe as part of the global celebrations.
In a personal reflection on the achievements of the last 10 years, Access Info Europe's Executive Director Helen Darbishire looks back to the founding of the FOIAnet on 28 September 2002 and comments that "Not in our wildest imaginations did we predict the successes that this movement would have secured".
Tracing the key milestones, the civil society activism, the contributions of key individuals, and identifying some of the challenges ahead and concludes that "It is truly impressive how the exercise of 'soft power' has contributed to advancing this right so that it is now both a fundamental right and a sine qua non of a democratic society, of an open government. We cannot be complacent as there are many challenges ahead... but on this Friday, 28 September 2012, we can also pause for a moment to acknowledge the successes, and that is something well worth celebrating!"
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