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Presentation of the Proposal of the Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information

Thursday, October 1, 2020.

The Right of Access to Public Information in the Americas

Monday, May 18, 2020.

Sessions of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP)

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Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information

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Access to Public Information

Since 2003, the General Assembly of the OAS has been continuously passing important resolutions on Access to Public Information, which have determined the political and legal framework within which subsequent developments have occurred.

Thus, in 2008, the Inter-American Juridical Committee approved the Principles on the Right of Access to Public Information and in 2010 the Department of International Law presented to the General Assembly a proposal for a Model Inter-American Law that for the past decade has served as a benchmark for the legal and institutional reform processes undertaken in many countries in the region.

In order to improve and strengthen the implementation of the Model Law, in 2016 the General Assembly adopted the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information.

In 2017, the General Assembly directed the Department of International Law to conduct a broad consultation process, with a view to identifying the areas in which the 2010 Model Law should be expanded or updated and to submit a proposal for a revised document to the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI) for its consideration. After analyzing and approving said draft, the CJI submitted the Proposed Inter-American Model Law 2.0 to the consideration of the Organization's political bodies in March 2020. The OAS General Assembly approved the Inter-American Model Law on October 21, 2020, resolving:

1. To urge the governments of the region to support the agencies specialized in access to information and transparency and to consolidate public policies that foster participatory democracy through the effective exercise of this citizen right.

2. To urge the national governments of the region to work together with local governments to ensure that the basic principles that give substance to the right of access to public information are uniform nationwide, regardless of where that right is exercised, without impinging on autonomy at the local level (provincial, state, or municipal) given that access to public information is a human right, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

3. To urge the governments of the region to consider as a matter of necessity the nature of access to public information as a human right, even though steps need to be taken to contain the current health emergency, so as to prevent implementation of measures which in practice absolutely nullify the exercise of this right but rather, in the public interest and in the interest of law and order, to promote measures for transparency in the area of access to public information during the health emergency and in particular those related to the pandemic created by the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19) and the protection of other rights such as those related to health, work, and education, among others.

4. To adopt Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information and to request the Inter-American Juridical Committee and the Department of International Law—the latter in its capacity as technical secretariat to said Committee—to disseminate Model Law 2.0 as widely as possible among the various stakeholders and continue supporting the efforts of member states that so request to adopt or adjust legislation, as appropriate, to ensure access to public information, using Model Law 2.0 as reference.

- AG/RES. 2958 (L-O/20) Strenghtening Democracy