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Kyrgyzstan: Note on the new Law on the Right of Access to Information

7 May 2024.

Kyrgyzstan adopted a new Law on the Right of Access to Information which entered into force in January and which replaced the earlier, 2007 right to information (RTI) law. The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has updated its assessment on the RTI Rating, which measures the strength of legal frameworks for RTI globally. The Law now earns 103 points out of a possible total of 150 points, up from 87 previously, increasing the ranking of Kyrgyzstan from 64th out of the 150 countries assessed on the RTI Rating to a strong 36th place globally.

We very much welcome the important improvements introduced by Kyrgyzstan’s new RTI Law, which sets a whole new standard for countries in the Central Asian region”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “The challenge now will be for Kyrgyzstan to meet the same standard when it comes to implementation of the new law.

In addition to updating the RTI Rating assessment, CLD has prepared a Note on the 2024 Law on the Right of Access to Information. Although it is much stronger than previously, there are still important areas where the Law could be further improved, including the following:

    • The scope of the Law in terms of the public authorities which are covered should be clarified and expanded.
    • The Law continues to rely on Kyrgyzstan’s Ombudsman for oversight of RTI, which lacks specialised expertise on the right to information or a specific mandate to promote this right, so consideration should be given to creating a specialised information commission for oversight purposes.
    • The exceptions should be narrowed and structural elements of the regime of exceptions – such as a general public interest override and sunset clauses of 15 or 20 years for exceptions – should be added.
    • Protection for those who release information in good faith pursuant to the Law and for whistleblowers should be added.

The full Note is available in English here.

For further information, please contact:

Toby Mendel
Executive Director
Centre for Law and Democracy
Email: toby@law-democracy.org
+1 902 431-3686
Twitter: @law_democracy

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