January 14, 2011The Ukrainian parliament has yesterday adopted anAccess to Information Law following a campaign by ARTICLE 19 andpartners over the past two years. ARTICLE 19 welcomes the new law,adopted by a large parliamentary majority, and will continue to checkthat it is properly implemented to improve transparency and the freeflow of information in the country.
“We are delighted that after a sustained campaign Ukraine hasadopted a law to realise the people’s right to information. Onceproperly implemented, the Access to Information Law will increasetransparency, good governance, efficiency and participation in publicaffairs,” says Dr Agnès Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.“The new law contains several progressive provisions supported byARTICLE 19, including a broad definition of public information, and alegal responsibility of holders of information who fail to publish,”Callamard continued.
The new law also requires public bodies to promote open governmentand publish certain types of information without any individualrequest. The regime of limitations adequately limits non-disclosureonly to situations in which the revelation of such information risksmore harm than benefit to the public. Disclosure of information onwrongdoings or information concerning a serious threat to people’shealth and safety or to the environment are protected too.
The law will go into effect after being signed by the PresidentYanukovych who has already expressed his intention to give assent.ARTICLE 19 campaigned with IMS and the Media Law Institute for theadoption an access to information law. We will continue to work forits implementation.