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Yemen: Comments on the Right to Information Law

Photo by Sallam from Yemen

Photo by Sallam from Yemen

In the aftermath of the revolution that forced Yemen’s long standing President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, from power, one of the main demands of the Yemeni people has been for greater government accountability. On 24 April 2012, Yemen’s legislature passed the Law on the Right of Access to Information, which is currently awaiting presidential assent before becoming law.

The Centre for Law and Democracy has conducted an analysis of this new law using our RTI Rating and found that it scored 102 out of a possible 150 points, which would put Yemen in twenty-first place globally.

Click here to read the Comments
Click here for a translation of the Law
Click here for the RTI Rating scoresheet

“We are pleased that Yemeni House of Representatives has passed such a strong right to information law,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy. “However, passing this law is just the beginning; the government will have to commit to implementing the law properly, and civil society will need to be active in using it, for real transparency to emerge in Yemen.”

The law’s strongest features include its broad scope and applicability and its strong promotional regime. At the same time, the law has important weaknesses, including the lack of proper recognition of the human right right to information and the absence of a public interest override.

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