Freedom of Expression

Model Law and Guide for Implementation

In June 2009, the OAS General Assembly requested that the Department of International Law, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, the Department of State Modernization and Good Governance, with the cooperation of the Member States and of civil society, draft a Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information and a Guide for its implementation, in accordance with international standards achieved in the subject. (Resolution 2514 (XXXIX-O/09). In development of this mandate, a working group was organized. The role of the Office of the Special Rapporteur was to ensure that the inter-American standards from the organs fo the Inter-American Human Rights System were incorporated.

In June of 2010 the General Assembly approved the Model Law and the Guide for Implementation presented here.

The Model Law recognizes access to information as a fundamental right and develops the scope of this right, defines the entities and persons obligated to provide information, includes measures to promote access to information, outlines for publication, obligations that public authorities and officials have to information. It also includes procedures to request access to public information, resources to protect the right, the validity of the burden of proof in case of refusal, and regulations of permitted exceptions, to protect other rights.

The Guide for Implementation aims to be a practical instrument that provides complementary information to the laws and establishes guidelines for effective implementation.