DMT Legal Analysis2018-01-05T15:19:22+00:00

COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY LEGAL ANALYSIS:
WHAT DOES THE RTI LAW SAY?

WE ANALYSED 12 EUROPEAN RIGHT TO INFORMATION LAWS.
THIS IS WHAT WE FOUND

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ITHE RTI MAP

DMT_LegalAnalysis_Map

As the map shows, legal traditions and frameworks in Europe vary widely when it comes to protecting the right of access to information and promoting transparency.

Europe has some of the best and worst access to information (RTI) laws in the world – from lowly Austria (32 points) to one-of-the-best Slovenia (129 points). A recently-adopted law is not necessarily a good law either – Spain’s transparency law was adopted in 2013 and is in the bottom half of the RTI Rating, whilst Finland adopted its law in 1951 and is near the top!

It is important to recognise however, that by just measuring the legal framework, you only get half the picture; in practice, some of the countries with the best laws do not necessarily have the most transparency traditions or cultures, and in other countries, it can be much easier to access information held by the government despite a relatively weak legal framework.

You can see each country’s rating in detail here:
Austria · Croatia · European Union · Finland · Germany · Greece · Ireland · Italy · Poland · Slovenia · Spain · United Kingdom

An analysis of these 12 RTI laws has told us…

0
jurisdiction has the legal
obligation to record minutes
of meetings
0
jurisdictions have clear
requirements to publish proactively
minutes of meetings
0
jurisdictions allow access to
documents that have been submitted
by lobbyists
0
jurisdictions have protection of decision-making as an absolute exception
 
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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BETTER RTI LEGAL FRAMEWORKS

  • Broader the scope of the national access to information law
All public bodies participating in decision-making processes should fall under the scope of the national access to information law.
  • Develop harm and public tests
Harm and public interest tests should exist for all exceptions to access to information, including decision making and privacy.
  • Create records of meetings
There should be an obligation to record minutes of meetings held as part of decision-making processes.
  • Publish proactively information
There should be a requirement to publish proactively information about decision-making processes, such as minutes of meetings and documents submitted by lobbyists.

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