Access to State Information

Perry Keller

in European and International Media Law

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780198268550
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728518 | DOI:
Access to State Information

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Chapter Nine examines rights of access to state held information, also known as freedom of information law, as well as unauthorised disclosure of such information. As this Chapter explains, the European Union's direct and indirect transparency obligations on member states to disclose information are subject to national security, public order and privacy exceptions. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and other EU legislation also contain significant rights of public access to information held by EU institutions. The Chapter discusses the development of positive rights of access to state held information as well as principles concerning unauthorised disclosure of state information and the protection of journalists’ sources under the ECHR Article 10 right to freedom of expression. It then looks at international law, which contains few positive obligations to disclose state held information, aside from the transparency disciplines of the GATT and GATS.

Keywords: Freedom of information; transparency; national security; public order; privacy; whistleblower; journalists' sources

Chapter.  11970 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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