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UN: Submission on the Right to Information

1 February 2021.

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has provided a written Submission on Normative Frameworks for the Right to Information to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The OHCHR is preparing a report on this issue to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council at its forty-seventh session in June 2021. The Council asked the OHCHR to prepare the report in its July 2020 resolution on freedom of expression, the first such resolution it has adopted in more than a decade.

We very much welcome both the interest of the Council in this issue and the opportunity to contribute to the OHCHR’s report,” said Toby Mendel, CLD’s Executive Director. “We also hope that the Council will follow this up by taking concrete action to encourage States to improve national legal frameworks for this right and to push inter-governmental organisations to put in place strong policy guarantees for it, something they have so far mostly been reluctant to do.

The CLD Submission relies heavily on the RTI Rating, which provides a good roadmap for a strong normative framework for the right to information, at least insofar as that framework should be reflected in law. The Submission goes further than the RTI Rating in some areas, such as the institutional framework for and a number of policy measures which can strengthen this right.

The Submission starts out by describing the RTI Rating, the standards it promotes and how it can be used to research country legal provisions on different issues. It then goes on to describe better practice normative frameworks in nine areas, namely guarantees for the right, institutional frameworks, proactive disclosure, scope of application of the right, requesting procedures, the regime of exceptions, appeals, sanctions and protections and promotional measures.

CLD’s Submission is available at OHCHR Submission on Normative Frameworks for the Right to Information.

For further information, please contact:

Toby Mendel
Executive Director
Centre for Law and Democracy
Email: toby@law-democracy.org
+1 902 431 3688
twitter: @law_democracy

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