The right to freedom of information is an integral part of the freedom of expression, which constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and is one of the basic conditions for its progress and development. OSCE participating States have explicitly stressed that the right to freedom of expression includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information as well as ideas without interference by public authorities, and regardless of frontiers.
While almost all OSCE participating States have adopted access to information / freedom of information laws, there are still problems in practical enforcement of the access mechanisms. Experts believe that one of the problems is caused by lack of independent information commissioners, ombudspersons, or other relevant oversight bodies – to help ensure that statuary provisions with respect to the right to information are truly effective.
Access Info’s Executive Director, Helen Darbishire, participated in this webinar organised by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, which led participants share best practices in enforcement of access to information mechanisms and discuss practices of independent national information commissioners or ombudspersons from several jurisdictions within the OSCE.
Watch the full webinar here