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October 2020

OAS General Assembly approves Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information

OAS General Assembly approves Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information

On October 21, at the conclusion of its 50th regular session, the OAS General Assembly approved the Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information submitted by the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), the Organization’s consultative organ for juridical matters.

This adoption successfully marks the tenth anniversary of the Inter-American Model Law of 2010.

The Model Law 2.0 was originated by a mandate in 2017 from the General Assembly, which requested the Department of International Law (DIL), in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the CJI, to identify thematic areas in which an update or expansion of the 2010 Model Law was deemed necessary, and to submit its findings to the CJI.

The DIL undertook an intensive consultation process with legislators, guarantor bodies, civil society, scholars and other social actors that included surveys, workshops and virtual discussions, supported by the Red de Transparencia y Acceso (RTA) a network of guarantor bodies from across the region, as well as EUROsociAL+, the European Union cooperation programme with Latin America. At the conclusion of this process in May 2019, the DIL presented the CJI with a consolidated document that included all the text agreed upon by consensus during the consultations. Subsequently, the DIL prepared a revised proposal that included all the comments and suggestions made by the CJI members, which was ultimately approved at the 96th regular session of the CJI in March 2020.

The OAS’ Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information represents the latest effort to advance in the establishment of standards that allow for greater guarantees to the citizens of the Hemisphere in light of the new challenges, and the best practices that have been developed in this field since the approval of the first Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information in 2010.

In this way, the OAS continues to promote access to public information as a tool that helps to increase the levels of transparency and the effectiveness of the fight against corruption, promotes open competition, investment and economic growth, generates public trust in its democratic institutions and empowers the people - particularly those who are in situations of vulnerability – by helping them gain an understanding of the means available to them to improve their standard of living and have better opportunities to partake in the benefits of economic growth.

It is important to highlight that throughout this undertaking, the DIL has remained mindful of the gender perspective, recognizing the opportunity to propose provisions that make the Model Law 2.0 one of the first legal instruments of the Inter-American System to incorporate a gender perspective by design.

In the following weeks, the DIL will begin to broadly disseminate Model Law 2.0 as requested by the resolution approved by the General Assembly and will continue to support Member States’ efforts in the adoption or reform of legislation that guarantees access to public information, taking this new instrument as a reference.

» To view the Inter-American Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information, click here (the official text of the resolution that approves the Model Law 2.0 will be distributed shortly by the Secretariat of the OAS Permanent Council).

» To visit the DIL’s web page on Access to Public Information, click here.

For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS +1 202 370-0741. 

» For additional information about the Department of International Law (DIL), please visit our Website.


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