Essentials of the Right of Access to Public Information: An Introduction

In: Hermann-Josef Blanke; Ricardo Perlingeiro. (Org.). The Right of Access to Public Information : An International Comparative Legal Survey. 1ed.Heidelberg: Springer, 2018, v. 1, p. 1-68

Posted: 18 Jun 2018

See all articles by Hermann-Josef Blanke

Hermann-Josef Blanke

University of Erfurt

Ricardo Perlingeiro

Fluminense Federal University - Faculty of Law; Estácio de Sá University - MA and PhD Programs in Law; Birmingham City University - Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Date Written: June 14, 2018

Abstract

The first freedom of information law was enacted in Sweden back in 1766 as the “Freedom of the Press and the Right of Access to Public Records Act”. It sets an example even today. However, the “triumph” of the freedom of information did not take place until much later. Many western legal systems arose from the American Freedom of Information Act, which was signed into law by President L.B. Johnson in 1966. This Act obliges all administrative authorities to provide information to citizens and imposes any necessary limitations. In an exemplary manner, it standardizes the objective of administrative control to protect citizens from government interference with their fundamental rights. Over 100 countries around the world have meanwhile implemented some form of freedom of information legislation. The importance of the right of access to information as an aspect of transparency and a condition for the rule of law and democracy is now also becoming apparent in international treaties at a regional level. This article provides an overview on the crucial elements and the guiding legal principles of transparency legislation, also by tracing back the lines of development of national and international case-law.

Keywords: human rights, Freedom of the Press, information law

JEL Classification: K11, K13, K14, K23, N40

Suggested Citation

Blanke, Hermann-Josef and Perlingeiro, Ricardo, Essentials of the Right of Access to Public Information: An Introduction (June 14, 2018). In: Hermann-Josef Blanke; Ricardo Perlingeiro. (Org.). The Right of Access to Public Information : An International Comparative Legal Survey. 1ed.Heidelberg: Springer, 2018, v. 1, p. 1-68. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3193440

Hermann-Josef Blanke (Contact Author)

University of Erfurt ( email )

Chair for Public Law and International Public Law
Nordhaeuser Str. 63
Erfurt, D - 99089
Germany

Ricardo Perlingeiro

Fluminense Federal University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Rua Presidente Pedreira, 62
Niterói, 24210-470
Brazil

Estácio de Sá University - MA and PhD Programs in Law ( email )

Avenida Presidente Vargas, 642
Rio de Janeiro, 20071-001
Brazil

Birmingham City University - Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences ( email )

4 Cardigan Street
Birmingham, B4 7BD
United Kingdom

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