Universidad de Palermo
CELE

Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression
and Access to Information

cele@palermo.edu | (54 11) 5199-4500 ext. 1213 | Español | English

 
 
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  ACCESS TO INFORMATION / Completed research
 
Access to information and national security in Latin America
This document explores the state of the situation and the challenges that the harmonization of access to public information presents for the protection of national security interests in Latin America. The report was put together by the Center for Archives and Access to Public Information (CAinfo) with technical assistance from the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) and with support from the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).

The document is a contribution to the regional discussion on access to information as it relates to national security and the promotion of the “Principles on national security and access to information,” developed by the OSJI.

The work systematizes the evolution of the right to access public information in the Inter-American System of Human Rights and establishes its link with the exception for national security. The report explores the definition of national security (adapted to the circumstances and traditions of Latin America), systematizes the current regulations on national security in the countries being analyzed, and presents standards and principles to streamline the right to know and national security. It also notes the precautions that should be taken for the classification of information and suggests the type of information that should be proactively made public.

The document was produced following a gathering of civil society organizations from the region and discussed during the international seminary, “Access to Information and National Security in Latin America,” put together in March 2012 at the University of Palermo.

The final document is available here (in Spanish)
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Public information and personal data: an old tension, a new challenge #personaldata
FOI legislation needs to be inserted into an extensive net of existing legislation that considers information including personal data, statistics, national defense, intelligence, patents, copyrights and trade secrets, etc. Basically, any issue considered for exception in FOI legislation has its recognition in a previous law that needs to be adjusted with the creation of a FOIA. Among these subjects, personal data is the most controversial. In some cases the FOI legislation itself regulates personal data and the authority in charge of implementation must balance the tug of war between the two concepts. In other cases, the law must coordinate efforts with pre-existing legislation and institutions and this could create some turf conflicts. Finally, there are countries where access to information has been regulated but personal data has not, potentially leaving individuals with less protection.

This project aims to analyze the tension between the concept of personal data and access to information considering not only the particular cases that may arise but also the institutions established to solve conflicts between the two concepts. The project, under a case study strategy, will review bibliography, gather information on cases and analyze the relationships, coordination and conflicts between institutions in charge of the implementation of FOI legislation and personal data.

The final document is available here (in Spanish)
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Toward a public policy on information management #archives
The organizational reality of institutions can strongly influence the way in which information is provided to those who request it and how it is made available to the public. Information management and collaboration with archival agencies are fundamental aspects for the implementation of access to information laws. Latin American countries are experiencing their first decade in terms of the regulation of the right to know and, through this process, are discovering the distinct challenges involved in making these norms effective. The most difficult challenge to overcome is probably the delay in the development of an efficient infrastructure for the management of public information.

In this context this project of CELE aimed to review the principal experiences of experts in the field of information management and describe the most common modalities in information management in the region vis-à-vis the new legislation on access to information. At the same time, the project sought to develop a comprehensive policy on information management based on the identification of standards, best practices, and the necessary systems and technology to preserve, systematize, archive, and provide information. The project also aimed to contribute to the development of a common terminology on these issues that would be useful for those who promote access to information, journalists, and public officials.

The final document is available here (in Spanish)
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Comments on the draft law on Transparency, Access to Information and Good Governance of Spain
CELE, at the request of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, presented a document of recommendations on the draft law on Transparency, Access to Information and Good Governance of Spain.

The full document can be accessed here »
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Access to information training approaches for government officials

This brief note describes different approaches used by governments in the process of implementing access to information (ATI) legislation to ensure that public officials are prepared for such implementation. The note is the result of initial research on four case studies: Chile, India, Mexico and United Kingdom. These cases highlight some trends in training approaches and draw some preliminary conclusions about them.

Click here to read »

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CELE submits comments on the Draft Model Law for African Union States on Access to Information
At the request of the Freedom of Information Programme at the South African History Archive (SAHA), the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) of the Law School at the University of Palermo in Argentina presented a document of recommendations in order to contribute to the elaboration of an African Union draft model law on access to information.

The recommendations are based on CELE’s expertise in the areas of legislation, jurisprudence, and public policy on freedom of expression and access to information in Latin America. In the past, CELE also contributed to the elaboration of the OAS draft law on access to information.
The document was prepared by Eduardo Bertoni, CELE’s Director, and Gladisley Sánchez, an intern at the Center. The full document can be accessed here.
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Research on inclusion of content on access to information in school curriculums
This research seeks to document different approaches in implementing the experiences of inclusion of content on access to information in formal educational programs. Research is focused in Mexico, as this is a leading country in the region in implementing the regulation on access to information. It will explore the role of different actors involved in these initiatives, such as the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information and the Ministry of Education. Also, it will take into account relevant efforts undertaken by civil society organizations to promote awareness of this law among young people. The study aims to promote a process of knowledge sharing and dissemination of practices that may be useful to public sector actors, private and civil society organizations interested in addressing this type of initiative.

The final document is available here (in Spanish)
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Access to information and media
At the request of the World Bank, CELE will be developing a research whose main objective is to document and analyze the role played by the media in promoting access to public information. To carry out this task, research will reveal the role of media in the promotion and adoption of laws on the subject and the use of regulations governing the law by journalists, among others.

The full document can be accessed here
 
 
 
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