Access to Information in the UK and India

21 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2015

See all articles by Ben Worthy

Ben Worthy

University of London - Birkbeck College

Date Written: Jan 16, 2014


This paper examines the impact of two pieces of transparency legislation: the UK Freedom of Information Act 2005 and the Indian Right to Information Act 2005. It looks at the origins and composition of the laws before examining how the two pieces of legislation function. Both laws have led to transparency and accountability by exposure and raising of ‘fire alarms’, with information disclosure used to bring about accountability as well as, to a more limited extent, reform and behaviour change. Of the two laws, the Indian RTI has proved more ‘politicised’ and more capable of initiating political participation. Yet the ‘transformative’ powers of such reforms are limited by poor implementation and resistance. Moreover, the effectiveness of such laws is shaped by context, with India in particular facing deep and complex socio-political obstacles that may prevent the laws having the ‘revolutionary’ effects advocates hoped.

Keywords: Freedom of Information, Right To Information Act, India, UK

Suggested Citation

Worthy, Ben, Access to Information in the UK and India (Jan 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ben Worthy (Contact Author)

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
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