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April 2018

Department of International Law Moves Forward with Draft Hemispheric Model Law on Access to Public Information

@Segpres  Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia

With more than 50 experts from 14 of the region’s countries attending, the First Workshop on the Model Law on Access to Public Information 2.0) was conducted successfully on April 16 and 17. The event was organized by the Department of International Law (DIL) of the OAS Secretariat for Legal Affairs, with co-sponsorship from EUROsociAL and institutional support provided by the Chilean Council for Transparency and the Transparency and Access to Information Network (known by the acronym in Spanish as “RTA” ).

Held at the Diplomatic Academy in Santiago, Chile, the event brought together member states’ focal points for the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information and representatives from civil society, the public sector, and academia in order to broaden and strengthen the thematic areas covered by the Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information (Model Law) to take into consideration recent developments.

The workshop was the first in a series of events that the DIL is organizing in keeping with the OAS General Assembly resolution on “Strengthening Democracy,”1 by which the DIL has been requested to identify thematic areas in the Model Law 1.0 that it considers necessary to update or broaden.

The inauguration of the event was attended by the Ambassador of the European Union in Chile, H.E. Stella Zervoudaki; Dr. Marcelo Drago Aguirre, President of the Transparency Council and President of the RTA; the Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the President, Mr. Claudio Alvarado; the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Chile, Mr. Alfonso Silva; and the Director of the Department of International Law, Dr. Dante Negro.

Outputs from this first workshop, together with information gleaned from ensuing events and the working groups that will be organized, will enable the DIL to draft a document that will be presented to the Inter-American Juridical Committee ( the principal advisory body of the OAS on juridical matters) and subsequently to the OAS General Assembly for consideration.

The topics addressed at the first workshop were selected during a DIL-led consultation process that involved 27 government institutions (including the 11 focal points for the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information), civil society organizations, and scholars from 12 states within the region, as well as the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission of Women. Civil society was represented, among others, by Alianza por la Libertad Expresión e Información, a network comprising 22 organizations that work in the area of freedom of expression and information.

The topics selected during the process were arranged into six modules: Powers and functions of the information commission for access to public information; Exceptions regime; Access to public information in the context of the judiciary; Document management and archives; Active transparency; and Access to public information in the context of political parties, trusts, trade unions, and other entities.

The presentations on the different topics were enriched with an open-discussion component and a broad exchange of ideas in which participants offered specific input on aspects to be kept in mind during preparation of the draft Model Law 2.0.

In addition to Dr. Dante Negro, the closing session of the event was attended by Mr. Borja Díaz, from the EUROsociAL democratic governance program; Dr. Gabriel Delpiazzo Antón, President, Access to Public Information Unit of Uruguay and RTA Executive Secretary; and Dr. Marcelo Drago Aguirre, who congratulated the OAS on the success of the first workshop and on the open and collaborative way in which the process had begun. They also pledged their commitment to continue supporting this work and underscored its importance for the future of access to public information in the region.

The DIL will continue to drive this process within a framework of collaboration and inclusiveness that ensures a technically sound outcome reached through broad participation.

[1] AG/RES. 2905 (XLVII-O/17) Section ix.

» See the contents of the First Workshop on the Model Law on Access to Public Information 2.0. *only Spanish

📷 Photo Gallery - Workshop 

» For the Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information, click here 

» For the Inter-American Program on Access to Public Information, click here 

» Cooperation Project, 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 0743. 

» For additional information about the Department, please visit our Website


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