Between Foi Law and Foi Culture: The Israeli Experience

OPEN GOVERNMENT JOURNAL: A JOURNAL ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION, Steve Woods, ed., John Moores University, Liverpool

30 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2005

See all articles by Yoram Rabin

Yoram Rabin

College of Management (Israel) - School of Law

Roy Peled

Tel-Aviv University; Movement for Freedom of Information in Israel

Abstract

The Israeli Parliament adopted Israel's Freedom of Information Law on the 19th of May 1998. The ratification of the law was accompanied by festive declarations regarding a transparency revolution and promises for a new era in the relations between citizens and government. Seven years later, this article attempts to examine to what extent the Law has met these expectations. Through an analysis of the Israeli Law, we endeavor to answer a broader question: To what extent does a Freedom of Information Law indeed assure freedom of information and government transparency?

It is argued that an examination of the volume of applications and the way they are treated by the persons in charge in the authorities testify to a very partial implementation of the law. The article examines the role of the government, the public, the media and the courts in the course of the process of implementing the FOI law in Israel, and offers conclusions and suggestions as to necessary elements to be added to the Israeli Law and to be included in future FOI Laws, in order to assure the legislation generates the cultural change required to create true Freedom of Information.

Keywords: Freedom of Information, Israel, Media, Courts

Suggested Citation

Rabin, Yoram and Peled, Roy, Between Foi Law and Foi Culture: The Israeli Experience. OPEN GOVERNMENT JOURNAL: A JOURNAL ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION, Steve Woods, ed., John Moores University, Liverpool, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=777244

Yoram Rabin

College of Management (Israel) - School of Law ( email )

7 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd.
P.O. Box 25072
Rishon LeZion, 75190
Israel

Roy Peled (Contact Author)

Tel-Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Movement for Freedom of Information in Israel ( email )

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