Spanish government urged to publish draft access to information law
Madrid, 3 May 2010 – On World Press Freedom Day Spain’s Coalición Pro Acceso has written to the government calling on it to publish the draft of the future access to information law.
The 30-member coalition is calling on the government to publish the draft before it is sent to parliament, so that civil society can provide comments and suggestions. The Coalición Pro Acceso argues that a public debate will benefit the future law.
“Publishing the draft law would be a gesture of transparency in line with the openness that the future law will require,” commented Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe.
3 May was nominated World Press Freedom Day by the United Nations in 1993. This year it is dedicated to the Right to Know, the right of everyone to access information held by government and other public bodies.
“The right to know is essential for civil society to hold government accountable and to detect corruption,” added Darbishire.
According to Manuel Sánchez de Diego, Professor of Information Law at Madrid’s Complutense University, the Spanish Constitution already guarantees the right to know. “The right of access to public information has its roots in the right to information, protected by the Spanish Constitution and international human rights treaties. Recognition of the right should result in a significant shift in relations between citizens and the public administration.”
To read about the Coalición Pro Acceso (in Spanish) go to http://www.proacceso.org/