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Russia: New Privacy Protection Law

(Nov. 5, 2013) On October 1, 2013, amendments to Russia’s Civil Code aimed at protecting the privacy of individuals entered into force. (Federal Law of the Russian Federation, No. 142 FZ of July 2, 2013, on Amending Section 3 of Chapter 1, Part 1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation [in Russian], ROSSIISKAIA […]

Burundi: New Media Law on President

(May 28, 2013) Burundi’s bi-cameral legislature recently passed a controversial new media law, with the final vote in the Senate on April 19, 2013. Organizations devoted to freedom of the press have voiced concerns about the restrictions the law places on accessibility to information sources and the increased sentences it would impose for some media-related […]

Economic Community of West African States: Uniform Framework on Freedom of Expression, Information Considered

(Mar. 21, 2012) From March 5-9, 2012, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held a meeting of its Technical Committee on Legal and Judicial Affairs and the Ministers of Justice of the Member States, in Abuja, Nigeria. (Schedule of Meetings, 2012, ECOWAS website (last visited Mar. 19, 2012).) ECOWAS was founded in 1975 […]

Brazil: Newly Enacted Laws Guarantee Access to Information, Create Truth Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations

(Nov. 28, 2011) On November 18, 2011, the Brazilian government enacted a law (Lei No. 12.527, de 18 de Novembro de 2011) to regulate access to information as established in articles 5(XXXIII), 37(§3)(II), and 216(§2) of the Brazilian Constitution. On the same day, Brazil also adopted a law (Lei No. 12.528, de 18 de Novembro […]

South Africa: Protection of Information Bill Controversial

(Aug. 16, 2011) On August 10, 2011, the South African organization Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) issued a statement criticizing a clause of the Protection of Information Bill as unconstitutional. (“Secrecy Bill – Whistleblower Clause Unconstitutional,” ODAC website (last visited Aug. 15, 2011); Info Bill Clause Flouts Constitution: Lawyer, SOUTH AFICAN PRESS ASSOCIATION (SAPA) (Aug. […]

Nigeria: Freedom of Information Bill Passes Both Houses of Parliament

(May 31, 2011) News outlets are reporting that both houses of Nigeria's Parliament have adopted the harmonized version of the Freedom of Information Bill (hereinafter FOI). The House of Representatives initially adopted its version of the FOI on February 24, 2011, and a different version of the FOI was adopted by the Senate on March […]

Nigeria: House of Representatives Approves Freedom of Information Bill

(Mar. 1, 2011) On February 24, 2011, the 360-member lower house of Nigeria's National Assembly adopted the Freedom of Information Bill which seeks to provide a right of access to records kept by public institutions and private institutions carrying out public functions. (Nigeria's Lower House Passes Right of Information Bill, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (Feb. 25, […]

Australia: Freedom of Information Reforms Come into Force

(Nov. 17, 2010) Changes to Australia's freedom of information (FOI) laws came into effect on November 1, 2010. (Press Release, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, New Era of Freedom of Information Starts Today (Nov. 1, 2010), http://www.ministerhomeaffairs.gov.au/www/ministers/oconnor.nsf/Page/MediaReleases_2010_FourthQuarter_1November2010-Neweraoffreedomofinformationstartstoday.)The reforms are contained in the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010, both […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Issues Judgment on Journalists’ Access to Documents during Pending Cases

(Oct. 13, 2010) Under European Union legislation, access to documents issued by the EU institutions, the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Council, is a basic right of EU citizens. While the European Parliament has urged that access to documents issued by all bodies of the EU be included in that right, the European Court […]

Spain: Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information

(Aug. 20, 2010) By August 20, 2010, Spain's government is expected to have approved the final Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information (Anteproyecto de Ley de Transparencia y Acceso de los Ciudadanos a la Información Pública). If approved by the country's Congress, the law will become effective in 2011 and would recognize for […]