On amending the law of Ukraine On Information

June 12, 2005

Law of Ukraine

On amending the law of Ukraine On

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has resolved:

I. To amend the law of Ukraine On
Information (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 1992, #48, p. 650; 2000, #27,
p. 213; 2002, #29, p.
194; 2003,
#28, p.
214; 2004,
#11, p.
#32, p. 394;
#33, p.
429; 2010,
#37, p.
) in the below wording:

Law of Ukraine On Information

This law regulates the relations on
creation, compilation, retrieval, storage, use, dissemination,
protection, defense of information.

Section I. General provisions

Article 1. Definition of terms

  1. In this law the below terms shall

  • Document—material media that
    contains information with the key functions to preserve and
    disseminate it in time and space;

  • Protection of information—a set
    of legal, administrative, organizational, technical and other
    activities to ensure storage and integrity of information and a
    proper access to it;

  • Information—any info and/or data
    that may be stored on material media or retrieved in electronic

  • Authority—a state organ,
    self-governance organ or another party with authority that functions
    under the law, including to perform delegated authority.

Article 2. Main principles of
information relations

  1. Main principles of information
    relations are:

  • Guaranteed right to information;

  • Openness of and access to info,
    freedom to exchange info;

  • Trustworthiness and completeness
    of info;

  • Freedom to express views and

  • Legality to receive, use,
    disseminate, protect and defend info;

  • Protection of the person from
    intrusion in his personal and family life.

Article 3. State information policy

  1. Main guidelines of the state info
    policy are to:

  • Ensure everyone’s access to

  • Ensure equal opportunities to
    create, compile, receive, use, disseminate, protect and defend

  • Create conditions to form
    information society in Ukraine;

  • Ensure openness and transparency
    of activities of authorities;

  • Establish info systems and
    networks, develop e-governance;

  • Ever renew, enrich and protect the
    national info resources;

  • Ensure info security of Ukraine;

  • Foster international cooperation
    in the info sphere and ensure Ukraine access to global info

Article 4. Parties to and object of
info relations

  1. Parties to info relations:

  • Physical persons;

  • Legal persons;

  • Citizen associations;

  • Authorities.

  1. Information is object of info

Article 5. Right to information

  1. Everyone has a right to
    information, which stipulates a possibility to freely receive, use,
    disseminate, protect and defend the info necessary to enjoy one’s
    rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.

The implementation of one’s right to
info should not violate civil, political, economic, social,
spiritual, ecological and other rights, freedoms and legitimate
interests of other citizens, rights and interests of legal persons.

Article 6. Guaranteed right to info

  1. The right to info shall be ensured

  • The establishment of a mechanism
    to implement the right to info;

  • The creation of conditions
    conducive for free access to statistics data, archive, library and
    museum archives, other info pools, database, info resources;

  • The obligation of authorities to
    inform the public and mass media about their activities and passed

  • The obligation of authorities to
    set aside special units or persons to ensure applicants’ access to

  • Government and public control of
    compliance with the law on info;

  • Liability for violation of the law
    on information.

  1. The right to info may be limited
    by law to ensure the national security, territorial integrity and
    public order, to prevent revolts or crime, to protect popular
    health, to defend repute or rights of other people, to prevent
    confidential info disclosure, or to support authority and
    objectivity of justice.

Article 7. Protection of the right to

  1. The right to info is protected by
    law. The state guarantees all parties to info relations equal rights
    and opportunities for access to info.

  2. Nobody may limit the right of
    person to choose forms and sources of info obtaining, except the
    cases stipulated by law.

A party to info relations may demand to
remedy whatever breach of his right to obtain info.

  1. It is prohibited to seize and
    destroy publications, exhibits, info pools, archived docs, library
    and museum documents, except the cases stipulated by law or based on
    court decisions.

  2. The rights to the info developed
    in the course of physical or legal person’s activity, authorities’
    performance, or at the cost of physical/legal person, State Budget
    of Ukraine, local budgets, shall be protected under law.

Article 8. The language of info

  1. The language of info shall be
    specified by the law of Ukraine On languages in Ukraine, other
    legislation that regulates this sphere, international
    treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented to.

Article 9. Main types of info

  1. Main types of info activities are
    to create, compile, retrieve, store, use, disseminate, protect,
    defend information.

Section II. Types of info

Article 10. Types of info as to the

As to the content the info shall be
split as info:

  • On physical person;

  • As reference and encyclopedia

  • On environment (ecological info);

  • On goods (works, services);

  • Science and technology info;

  • Tax info;

  • Legal;

  • Statistics;

  • Sociological;

  • Other types of info.

Article 11. Science and technology info

  1. Science and technology info—any
    info and/or data about domestic and foreign achievements in science,
    technology and manufacturing obtained in the course of science and
    research, development, design and technology, production and public
    activities that can be recorded on material media or retrieved

  2. Legal regime of science and
    technology info shall be specified by the law On Science and
    technology info, other laws international treaties/agreements the VR
    Ukraine has consented to.

  3. Science and technology info is
    open for access if it is not stipulated otherwise by Ukraine laws.

Article 12. Statistics info

  1. Statistics info—documented info
    that provides quantitative characteristics of mass events/processes
    that occur in the economic, social, cultural and other spheres of

  2. Official state statistics (OSS)
    info is subject to systemic promulgation.

  3. The state guarantees that parties
    to info relations have an open access to OSS, save the info with
    limited access as stipulated by law.

  4. The legal regime of the state
    statistics info shall be specified by the law On SS, other laws
    international treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented to.

Article 13. Tax info

  1. Tax info—data pool created and
    obtained by the parties to info relations in the line of duty and
    necessary for control organs to perform under the Tax Code of

  2. The legal regime of the tax info
    shall be specified by the TCU and other laws.

Article 14. Legal info

  1. Legal info—any info on law,
    legal system, sources, implementation, legal facts, legal relations,
    legal order, torts, counter measures and prevention thereof.

  2. Sources of legal info are the
    Constitution of Ukraine, other laws and bylaws, international
    treaties/agreements, international law norms and principles, legal
    acts, media publications, public speeches, other sources of info on
    legal matters.

  3. To ensure physical/legal persons’
    access to legislation and other normative acts the state shall
    ensure the publication thereof in mass print runs shortly after
    their enactment.

Article 15. Info on physical person

  1. Info on physical person—ID data,
    other info or info pool about a physical person.

  2. It is not allowed to compile,
    store, use and disseminate the confidential info about the person
    without his agreement, except the law specified cases, and only in
    the national interests, economic welfare and human rights defense.
    Confidential personal ID info is: nationality, education, marital
    status, faith, health, address, DOB, POB.

Everyone has a free access to personal
info except the cases set by law.

Article 16. Info on environment
(ecology info)

  1. Info on environment (ecology
    info)—info/data on:

  • Environment status and its
    components, including genetically modified organisms and interaction
    between these components;

  • Factors that affect or may
    environment components (substances, energy, noise, radiation, as
    well as activities or events, including administrative, agreements
    on environment, policies, legislation, plans and programs);

  • Status of health and personal
    security, living conditions, status of objects of culture and
    constructions to a degree they may be affected by environment

  1. Legal regime of the info on
    environment (ecological info) shall be specified by the law of
    Ukraine and international treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has
    consented to.

  2. The info on environment, except
    the info about the location of military facilities, may not be
    classified as info with limited access.

Article 17. Info on goods (works,

  1. Info on goods (works,
    services)—info/data about quantitative, qualitative and other
    characteristics of goods (works, services).

  2. The info about effect of a good
    (services, works) on life and health of people may not be classified
    as info with limited access.

  3. Legal regime of the info on goods
    (works, services) shall be specified by the laws of Ukraine and
    international treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented to.

Article 18. Reference and encyclopedia

  1. Reference and encyclopedia
    information—systematized, documented, promulgated or otherwise
    disseminated info about society, social being and environment.

  2. Key sources of reference and
    encyclopedia information are: encyclopedias, dictionaries, guides,
    ad notes and advertisements, maps, e-databases and data pools,
    archives of info services, networks and systems, as well as
    certificates issued by authorized organs and self-governance,
    citizen associations, organizations, their staff and automated info
    and telecom systems.

  3. Legal regime of reference and
    encyclopedia information shall be specified by the laws of Ukraine
    and international treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented

Article 19. Sociological info

  1. Sociological info—any documented
    info about the attitude towards some persons, developments, events,
    processes, facts, etc.

  2. Legal regime of sociological
    information shall be specified by the laws of Ukraine and
    international treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented.

Article 20. Access to info

  1. Based on ways of the access to
    info it shall be split into open and limited access info.

  2. Any info is open, except the info
    specified by law as limited access info.

Article 21. Limited access info

  1. Limited access info is
    confidential, strictly confidential and inhouse info.

  2. Personal info is confidential, as
    well as the info whose access is limited by a physical/legal person,
    except the authorities. CI may be disseminated at will (consent) by
    the interested person in the way set by the person, as well as in
    other cases set by the law.

The relations related to the legal
regime of CI shall be refulated by law.

  1. Strictly confidential and inhouse
    info classification, as well as access to it, shall be set by law.

  2. The following info may not be
    classified as limited access info:

  1. On environment, foodstuffs and
    habitual use goods quality;

  2. On accidents, disasters, natural
    calamities and other extremities that occurred or may occur and thus
    threaten human security;

  3. On popular health, living
    standard, including nourishment, clothes, housing, healthcare,
    welfare, social/demographic indicators, law and order, education and

  4. On instances of violated human and
    citizen rights;

  5. On arbitrary acts of authorities,
    self-governance, their incumbents and officers;

  6. Other info, whose access may not
    be limited under laws of Ukraine and international
    treaties/agreements the VR Ukraine has consented to.

Section III. Performance of
journalists, mass media and their staff

Article 22. Mass media and its means

  1. Media—info disseminated to
    outreach unlimited number of persons.

  2. Media means—means to publicly
    disseminate printed and audiovisual info.

Article 23. Info products and services

  1. Info products—material result of
    info activities to satisfy the needs of parties to info relations.
    Info service is an activity to provide info products to users to
    satisfy their needs.

  2. Info products and services shall
    be regulated under civil law of Ukraine.

Article 24. Prohibition of censorship
and intrusion into professional activities of journalists and media

  1. Censorship shall be prohibited—any
    request of journalists or media outlet, its founder (cofounder),
    publisher, executive officer, distributer to clear info prior to its
    dissemination, or ban on and tamper with in any way to block the
    publication or dissemination is prohibited.

This prohibition does not cover the
cases when the info clearing process is carried out based on law
requirements or court adjudications to ban info dissemination.

  1. Meddling with professional
    activities of journalists, control of info content is prohibited,
    specifically to disseminate or not to specific info, hushing of
    socially needed info, embargoing some themes, limelighting some
    persons or disseminating info about them; prohibition to criticize
    authorities, except the cases set by law, labor agreement between
    owner and collective, editorial charter.

  2. Deliberate meddling with
    journalists’ professional activities and/or prosecution of
    journalists for their professional activities, criticism, shall make
    one liable under law of Ukraine.

Article 25. Guarantees of activities of
media and journalists

  1. When performing his duties a
    journalist may take notes, record, video-record using technical
    means, except the cases set by law.

  2. A journalist may uninhibitedly
    enter the premises occupied by authorities, open events they host,
    and be invited to confer by incumbents within reasonable term,
    except the cases set by law.

  3. A journalist has a right not to
    disclose an info source or the info that might lead to source
    disclosure, except the cases when he is bound to by the court
    decision or under law.

  4. After having produced a
    professional ID document, a media man may gather info at sites of
    calamity, disaster, accidents, public disorder, military
    engagements, except the cases set by law.

  5. A journalist may disseminate his
    materials (audio-, video, notes, etc.) signed (authorship) or
    penname signed.

  6. A journalist may refuse his
    authorship (signature) to the material if its redacted content
    counters his beliefs.

  7. The rights and obligations of
    journalist, media man, set by this law, shall be valid for foreign
    journalists, foreign media staff who work in Ukraine.

Article 26. Accreditation of
journalists and media men

  1. To create favorable conditions for
    journalists and media men, the authorities may accredit then.

All actions on accreditation shall be
based on the premise of transparency, equity, justice to ensure
citizens’ rights to obtain info through media. Lack of
accreditation may not justify refusal to let journalists visit open
events sponsored by the authorities.

  1. Accreditation of journalists shall
    be free of charge based on his/his outlet application.

The application shall specify name,
address, telephone, email (if available). The application shall be
backed by professional ID copy.

A media outlet application shall
specify its full name, date/number of registration, address,
telephone, email (if available), journalist’s name to represent the
outlet. The application shall be backed by professional ID copy.

An application may not be rejected
should all the necessary documents specified herein have been filed.

The authorities may simplify the
accreditation process.

  1. The accreditation process set by
    the authorities shall be made public.

  2. The authorities that accredited
    journalists shall foster their professional activities, timely
    notify them of place/time of their sessions, sittings, meetings,
    briefings, etc.; provide then the info intended for media, and help
    set the conditions for recording and transmission of info, hold
    interviews, get comments of officials.

  3. In case an event is held under
    international or other specialized protocols, specific conditions of
    journalists’ access may prevail, which shall be posted on the
    authorities’ official website prior to the event proper.

  4. A journalist/media man shall
    comply with authorities’ inhouse rules and not impede their staff

  5. The authorities that have
    accredited journalists shall act on terminating such accreditation
    in case:

  • A journalist filed an application
    for that matter;

  • A journalist would violate his
    obligations under this article;

  • An outlet that applied for
    accreditation filed for recall.

  1. An accreditation termination shall
    be backed by the name of official (authorities) that took such
    decision, the date and reason and ways to remedy the decision. A
    written notification on accreditation termination shall be handed in
    or dispatched to the media outlet or journalist within five workdays
    from the day a decision was passed.

  2. A decision to terminate
    accreditation may be appealed against in court.

Section IV. Liability for violating the
legislation on information

Article 27. Liability for violating the
legislation on information

  1. Violation of the legislation on
    information is subject to discipline, civil, administrative or
    criminal law liability under law of Ukraine.

Article 28. Intolerance of abuse of the
right to info

  1. Info may not be used for calls to
    tear down the constitutional polity, breach of territorial integrity
    of Ukraine, propaganda of war, violence, brutality, instigation of
    inter-ethnical, racial, religious hatred, perpetrate terror acts,
    infringe on human ri8ghts and liberties.

Article 29. Dissemination of the info
necessary for society

  1. Limited access info may be
    disseminated if it is socially requisite, i.e. is of interest to
    society and the right of the public to know this info prevails the
    would be harm should it be disseminated.

  2. The socially requisite info is
    that on the threat to the national sovereignty, territorial
    integrity of Ukraine; that ensures the implementation of
    constitutional rights, liberties and obligations; proves to possible
    violation of human rights, leads to public misrepresentation,
    witnesses to eco harm or other negative repercussions in the wake of
    physical/legal persons’ activities or inertia.

Article 30. Liability waver

  1. Nobody may be brought to liability
    for expressing his speculations.

  2. Speculations, except defamation,
    are opinions that do not contain facts, criticism, assessment of
    actions, as well as opinions that may not be construed as those that
    contain facts, specifically given the nature of using of linguistic
    means (hyperbole, allegory, satire). Speculations are not subject to
    denial or proof of trustworthiness.

If any person believes that
speculations or opinions degrade him, his honor or good name, and
other personal immaterial rights, then the person may respond under
law, as well as construe the case through the same media to justify
baselessness of the disseminated speculations, and underpinning them
with a different assessment. If a subjective opinion is expressed in
a brutal, degrading or improper form that degrades one’s dignity,
honor or good name then the person who expressed his speculations in
that form may be obligated to remedy caused moral harm.

  1. Parties to info relations shall be
    immune from liability for disclosure of limited access info if
    adjudicated by court that the info is socially needed.

  2. Extra ground for a media
    outlet/journalist liability waver shall be set by the laws of
    Ukraine on: the Printed Media (the Press) in Ukraine; TV and
    Radiocasting; Info Agencies and others.

Article 31. Indemnification of material
loss and moral damage

  1. In case one’s violated right to
    the freedom of info caused him material loss or moral damage then he
    has a right for indemnification through the court.

  2. The authorities that act as
    plaintiffs in cases of dignity may only demand through the court
    that the defendant revoke the speculations about them, and may not
    require for indemnification of moral (non-pecuniary) damage. This
    provision shall not deprive public servants of the right to defend
    their honor or good name in the court.

Section V. Final provisions

  1. This law shall be in effect three
    months after it has been promulgated.

  2. Until the Ukraine legislation has
    been brought in compliance with this law its acts shall be enforced
    in the part that do not contravene it.

  3. Amend the following laws of

  1. In the Code of Ukraine On
    administrative torts (Vidomosti of VR Ukrainian SSR, 1984, addendum
    to #51, p. 1122; 2006, #15, p. 128)

  • In article 212-3 the words
    “fifteen to twenty five” and “twenty five to fifty” shall be
    appropriately replaced with the words ““twenty five to fifty”
    and “fifty to eighty”;

  • In article 212-26:

  • The words “twenty five” shall
    be replaced with “thirty”;

Para one, part 2
shall read as follows:

refusal by a person to provide info, untimely or incomplete provision
thereof, dissemination of wrong info, should such info be requested
by law enforcement organs or the Accounting Chamber.”

  1. Part one article 200, Civil Code
    of Ukraine (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 2003, ##40-44, p. 356) shall be
    expressed as follows:

  • “1. Info is any info and/or data
    that may be stored on material media or retrieved in electronic

  1. Para twelve article 1 of the law
    of Ukraine On state statistics (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 1992, #43,
    p. 608) shall be expressed as follows:

info—documented info that quantifies mass events/processes that
occur in eco, social, cultural and other spheres of societal life.”

  1. In the law of Ukraine On the
    Printed Media (the Press) in Ukraine (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 1993,
    #1, p. 1):

  • Delete article 27;

  • In article 40:

The article title
shall read:

“Article 40.
Establishment of foreign press representations”;

  • Delete part three;

  1. In the law of Ukraine On
    scientific and technical info (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 1993, #33,
    p. 345):

  • Para two article 1 shall read:

“scientific and
technical info—any info/data on national and foreign achievements
of science, technologies and manufacturing obtained in the course of
science and research, development, design and technology, production
and public activities that can be recorded on material media or
retrieved electronically”;

  • In para one article 2 the words
    “documented on any medium or promulgated” shall be deleted;

  1. Part two article 37 of the law of
    Ukraine On info agencies (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 1995, #13, p. 83)
    shall be deleted;

  2. Article 3 law of Ukraine On
    limelighting the activities of the authorities and local
    self-governance of Ukraine in the media (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine,
    1997, #49, p. 299) shall be deleted;

  3. Articles 45, 69 of the law of
    Ukraine On TV and radiocasting (Vidomosti of VR Ukraine, 2006, #18,
    p. 155; 2008, #18, p. 197) shall be deleted.

  1. CabMin Ukraine within six months
    after the law has been in effect shall:

  • Bring its acts in compliance with
    this law;

  • Ensure that ministries and other
    central executives review and cancel their acts if they contravene
    this law.