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Amending Access to Information Legislation: Legal and Political Issues

Almost 90 countries around the world have enacted access to information (ATI) legislation, and in many of these countries, reforms and amendments are either being considered or have been passed. However, even minor adjustments to the legal framework around ATI laws can have substantial impact on how the law is implemented and used.

While access to information laws are increasingly a key subject of studies on governance reforms, within the literature there has been less emphasis placed on the impact of amendments to ATI laws and little analysis done to understand the processes that propelled such reforms forward.

Targeted for practitioners working in governance and transparency issues and as part of its Governance Working Paper series, the World Bank Institute has recently published Amending Access to Information Legislation: Legal and Political Issues by Toby Mendel, Executive Director of Centre for Law and Democracy.

The working paper looks at the main substantive issues ATI reform attempts have targeted and what legal forms they may take. It also examines the role different actors—civil society, the media, oversight bodies, parliaments, and political leaders—can play in helping support the adoption of reforms that promote openness and defeat those that erect barriers.

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