Model Law

In June 2009, the OAS General Assembly requested that the Department of International Law draft a [Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information], with the participation of OAS organs, agencies and entities, OAS Member States, and civil society organizations, with a view toward providing the legal framework necessary to ensure citizen participation in a democratic system, strengthening accountability of and trust in government institutions, and guaranteeing the fundamental human right.

Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information

In keeping with resolution AG/RES. 2727 (XLII-O/12), on April 11, 2013, the Department of International Law submitted the Preliminary Draft Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information at a meeting of the Permanent Council’s Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP). After the Committee considered and approved the draft, it was referred to the General Assembly for adoption.

The OAS General Assembly, by resolution AG/RES. 2885 (XLVI-O/16), adopted the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information on June 14, 2016.

The Program recognizes the vital role of international legal instruments in the promotion and protection of access to public information, as well as the essential role of access to public information in electoral and democratic processes; in state governance, transparency, and anticorruption efforts; in the protection and promotion of human rights, especially the right to freedom of thought and expression; and in freedom of the press.

In addition, the Program both underscores that the principle of maximum disclosure is consubstantial with access to public information, and reaffirms the importance of the Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information in promoting access to public information.

The Program identifies concrete steps that member states of the Organization, the OAS General Secretariat, and civil society and other social actors should take.

The resolution adopted by the highest organ of the OAS also requested that the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs coordinate the actions necessary for the full implementation of the Program.