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Member States' Laws & Papers (contd.)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA [Go to top]

Law

Article 51 of the Constitution explicitly recognises the right of reasonable access to official documents, subject only to the need for such secrecy as is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

A Draft Freedom of Information Bill was developed by civil society, but has not yet been acted upon by Government.

Articles

Links

  • Transparency International PNG

SAMOA [Go to top]

Law

Article 13(1) of the Constitution recognises the right to freedom of speech and expression, but there is no reference in the Constitution to the right to information.

Articles

To be posted.

Links

To be posted.

RWANDA [Go to top]

Law

Article 34 of the Constitution of Rwanda guarantees freedom of the press and freedom of information.

The Constitution has several other provisions that guarantee freedom of information.

The Media High Council of Rwanda drafted a Freedom of Information Bill in 2009 which was adopted by the Rwandan Cabinet on 1 June, 2011 as a matter of priority

The draft Bill remains to be passed by the Rwandan Parliament.

Articles

Rwanda: Glimmer of Hope as Rwanda Cabinet Approves Access to Information Bill.

Rwanda Cabinet Okays Access to Information Bill.

Venkatesh Nayak (2011) People Access to Information and the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda.

Links

To be posted.

SEYCHELLES [Go to top]

Law

The Constitution of Seychelles includes “the right of access of every person to information relating to that person and held by a public authority. . . [and] the right of access by the public to information held by a public authority” (Art. 28), and the “freedom to . . . receive and impart ideas and information without interference” as part of freedom of expression (Art. 22).

Articles

To be posted.

Links

To be posted.

SIERRA LEONE [Go to top]

Law

Article 25 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and impart ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of speech and expression.

A Freedom of Information Bill was developed by The Society for Democratic Initiatives, Sierra Leone.This was forwarded to CHRI for its review and comments. CHRI has made a detailed analysis of this draft Bill and suggested areas which could be reconsidered and reworked.

Articles

Links

SINGAPORE [Go to top]

Law

Article 14(1) of the Constitution recognises the right to freedom of speech and expression, but there is no reference in the Constitution to the right to information.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

SOLOMON ISLANDS [Go to top]

Article 12 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

Articles

(2006) Solomon Islands - dissemination of information partnership MOU signed, Solomon Islands Government Press Release, 26 May.

Links

To be posted.

SOUTH AFRICA [Go to top]

Law

Section 32 of the Constitution explicitly guarantees the right of access to information held by the state or held by another person if it is required for the exercise or protection of any rights. The section requires the National Legislature to enact legislation to make the right effective. Section 16 of the Constitution also includes the freedom to receive and impart information as part of the right to freedom of expression.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000 operationalises the constitutional right to access information. Click here for a plain language version of the Act prepared by ODAC. In 2000, an amendment to the Act was passed via the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000. It does not appear that Rules have been passed in support of the Act.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 was passed simultaneously with the POAI Act to protect "whistleblowers".

Articles

Links

SRI LANKA [Go to top]

Law

Article 14(1) of the Constitution recognises the right to freedom of speech and expression, but there is no reference in the Constitution to the right to information.

On June 21, 2011 a draft Freedom of Information Bill was presented in parliament by opposition United National Party deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya. The Bill was defeated by a majority of 63 votes in the 225-member assembly.

Articles

Links

ST KITTS AND NEVIS [Go to top]

Law

Article 12 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

ST LUCIA [Go to top]

Law

Article 10 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES [Go to top]

Law

Article 10 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

The Freedom of Information Act 2003 legislates for the right to access information. The Act came into effect in 2003.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

SWAZILAND [Go to top]

Law

The Constitution of Swaziland, which went into effect February 8, 2006, includes the “freedom to receive ideas and information without interference” as part of the freedom of expression (Art. 24). There is currently no right to information legislation in Swaziland.

The Government drafted a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bill in 2007. CHRI had sent a detailed analysis of the Bill with recommendations through Media Institute of South Africa – Swaziland. There have been no reported developments with the Bill.

Articles

Links

TANZANIA [Go to top]

Law

Article 18(1) of the Constitution includes the right to seek, receive and impart information as part of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Article 18(2) guarantees every citizen the right to be informed at all times of various events in the country and in the world at large which are important to the lives and activities of people also of issues of importance to society.

In late 2006 the Government released a draft Freedom of Information Bill 2006 which it intends on introducing in to Parliament in 2007.

Stakeholders responded by rejecting the Government Bill and drafting their own alternative Stakeholder Bill to take to Government.

Articles

Links

TONGA [Go to top]

Law

Article 7 of the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and of the press, but there is no reference in the Constitution to the right to information.

The Tongan Constitutional and Electoral Commission released its first Interim Report on 5 June 2009 and has called for public submissions on the issues raised in the Report by 5 July 2009. The Report will be finalised after any submissions have been considered. The Interim Report outlines electoral and constitutional issues as determined by the Commission, and includes statements highlighting the importance of transparency and accessibility of information in Tonga. An extensive public awareness campaign is planned once the Commission's Final Report is published, with the aim of explaining and clarifying its final recommendations to everyone throughout Tonga.
Please click here to read the CHRI's submissions to the Tongan Constitutional and Electoral Commission.

Articles

To be posted.

Links

To be posted.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO [Go to top]

Law

Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees a list of rights and freedoms, but there is no reference to the right to information.

The Freedom of Information Act 1999 legislates for the right to access information. The Act came into effect on 20 February 20, 2001. It does not appear that Rules have been passed in support of the Act.

Articles

Links

  • Trinidad & Tobago Government Freedom of Information website
  • The Trindad and Tobago Freedom of Information Unit can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

TUVALU [Go to top]

Law

Article 24 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

Articles

To be posted.

Links

To be posted.

UGANDA [Go to top]

Law

Article 41 of the Constitution explicitly guarantees the right to access information in possession of state or any other agency of the state. Article 41 expressly requires parliament to make a law to prescribe the procedure for providing access to information.

MP Abdu Katuntu prepared a draft Private Members' Access to Information Bill in March 2004 which he intended to present to Parliament. On 14 April 2004, the Ugandan Minister for Information tabled a separate government-sponsored government-sponsored Access to Information Bill in Parliament. Civil society activists were not involved in the drafting process prior to tabling of the Bill. The Ugandan Access to Information Act 2005 was passed in 2005, received Presidential assent on 7 July 2005 and came into operation on 20 April 2006. The President's Office has issued the Access to Information (Commencement) Instrument 2006 notifying the Act's commencement into force to all government departments and agencies.

Access to information regulation were issued in April 2011 to operationalise full implementation of the Ugandan Access to Information Act.

Articles

Links

UNITED KINGDOM [Go to top]

Law

The United Kingdom has no single Constitutional document. Instead, the UK has a number of written laws, which read in conjunction with existing constitutional conventions, make up its constitutional framework. The Human Rights Act 1998 is one such law. It includes certain provision of the European Convention on Human Rights, notably article 10 that protect the right to receive and impart information. The UK courts in Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Limited and others [1999] 4 All ER 609 have held that "the common law is to be developed and applied in a manner consistent with article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms".

England

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislates for the right to access information. The Act came into force on January 2005. Since the Act was passed, there have been various amendments and rules passed in support of the primary legislation.

Individuals already have the right of access to information about themselves under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998 protects individuals who make certain disclosures of information in the public interest, namely whistleblowers.

Scotland

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 legislates for access to information held by Scottish public authorities.

Wales

The Welsh Code of Practice on Public Access to Information applies to information held by the national assembly for Wales, assembly-sponsored public bodies and private companies contracted by the national assembly. The Code adds to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (UK).

Articles

Links

VANUATU [Go to top]

Law

Article 5 of the Constitution guarantees a list of rights and freedoms, but there is no reference to the right to information.

In 2006, Transparency-International Vanuatu drafted a Freedom of Information Bill 2006 for consideration by civil society and the Government. CHRI wrote a detailed analysis of this draft Bill and suggested areas which could be reconsidered and reworked.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

ZAMBIA [Go to top]

Law

Article 20 of the Constitution includes the freedom to receive, impart and communicate ideas and information without interference as part of the right to freedom of expression.

A Freedom of Information Bill 2002 was submitted to Parliament but withdrawn in 2002, with the Government justifying the withdrawal on the basis that it wanted to consult widely on the Bill. The Bill has yet to be reintroduced to Parliament.

Articles

Links

To be posted.

 

 

 
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Joint Letter to HRC Members on Sri Lanka

Statement on Human Rights Defenders

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)

Re Inhuman conditions in prison SC order 24.4.15

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and the FCR Rules - Points for consideration

Hear the Message, Don't Shoot the Messenger - Curbing Voices of Dissent in the Name of Regulation

CHRI CONCERNED OVER ALLEGATIONS OF POLICE VIOLENCE & ARBITRARY ACTION DURING ANTI GOVERNMENT RALLY

Breaking the silence"- CHRI's Press note on Sri Lanka's RTI

CHRI's critique of Tanzania's ATI Bill 2015

Tanzania's ATI Act 2015 (Bill)

CHRI celebrates the release and repatriation of Khan Zaman

Incidence of rape-torture-death in Prisons

Acquittal of Accused Pac Personnel in the 1987 Hashimpura Killings

Call for Proposals - Crime Victimisation Survey

Call for Quotations Website Maintenance

POLICE REFORM WORKING GROUP (PWRG) STATEMENT ON CABINET SECRETARY

Call for implementation of UNSC resolution on humanitarian access for Syrians

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JointLetter BRICS Summit Fortaleza

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VAW statement - item 3 - 11 June 2014

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Upcoming UPR review for Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho Granada and Guyana

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Humanrights Initiative

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