The Tobacco Industry's Strategic Use of Freedom of Information Laws: A Comparative Analysis

Oxford University Comparative Law Forum (2016), Forthcoming

35 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

See all articles by Georgina Dimopoulos

Georgina Dimopoulos

University of Melbourne, Law School, Students

Andrew D. Mitchell

University of Melbourne - Law School

Tania Voon

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: September 30, 2015

Abstract

This paper attempts to derive lessons from the freedom of information (FOI) laws in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States for achieving an appropriate balance between transparency and government openness on the one hand and preventing abuse of the FOI system by powerful industries on the other. The paper focuses on the strategic use by the tobacco industry of FOI in these countries, concluding that reforms could reduce undue financial and human resource burdens on governments in dealing with overly broad requests. The ability to reject or limit such requests, to more closely align the costs to the applicant with the costs of processing the request, and to take account of the nature and purpose of the request could prevent deliberate abuse of the system. This paper was finalised in September 2015.

Keywords: FOI, tobacco, administrative law, public health, transparency

JEL Classification: I18, K23

Suggested Citation

Dimopoulos, Georgina and Mitchell, Andrew D. and Voon, Tania, The Tobacco Industry's Strategic Use of Freedom of Information Laws: A Comparative Analysis (September 30, 2015). Oxford University Comparative Law Forum (2016), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2725638

Georgina Dimopoulos

University of Melbourne, Law School, Students ( email )

Parkville
Australia

Andrew D. Mitchell

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61383441098 (Phone)
+61393472392 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/staff/Andrew%20Mitchell

Tania Voon (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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