auf Deutsch über das gleiche Thema:  

Dear Mr. POUTIERS,  

I am referring to the Questionnaire on the implementation, at national level, of Recommendation Rec (2002) 2 on access to official document, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) on 21 February 2002.  

I have send the Questionnaire to 3 NGOs and understand that at least one German NGO will answer. I certainly hope for more answers.  

I would like to comment on point 20 of the questionnaire:

I appreciate the initiative of the CoE. EU is relying on the CoE:  

In Germany access to public documents is found in 4 of the 16 federal states (lander). The Information Commissioners of these 4 states work together in AGID (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Informationsfreiheitsbeauftragten in Deutschland): AGID has made the year 2003 to the "Year of Freedom of information": .  

On federal level the coalition government has promised access to public documents since 1998. In 2001 the government invited citizens to discuss a law. I welcomed the discussion and the proposed law: because I saw the chance that Germany may catch up with the international development and suggested the "Swedish solution" : to overcome problems.  

Unfortunately the plans failed: The reasons are in short: :

I am looking forward to the end of the law on legal advice from 1935: because it will make it easier for Germans to get to you own rights and human rights.  

The only means of complaint on individual level against the lack of access to public documents I am aware of is a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately I have to start at the district court in Berlin: On the way to the European Court of Human Rights I am forced to have a lawyer at the "Oberverwaltungsgericht". In order to save my lawyer from a berufsverbot I have done a intervention at the Bundesgerichtshof (Case 1 ZU 65/02: "Krumbiegel scandal" ), because I assume that the lawyers monopoly according to the law on legal advice from 1935 will not fall soon enough.  

A practical example of access to documents is the Institute of Human Rights in Germany. The German Institute of Human Rights (Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte) was founded on the basis of suggestions of the UN Resolution 48/134 and CoE Recommendation No. R (97) 14. The first director Percy MacLean (now again judge at the Verwaltungsgericht Berlin) had to resign, because he monitored human rights in Germany (how UN and CoE wished). The opponents favoured to monitor international developments. (See his article: Das Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte - Vision und Wirklichkeit: Wie soll es nach dem erzwungenen Rücktritt des ersten Direktors weitergehen? Vision and reality: How to proceed?). I have asked for access to these documents arguing I need access to strengthen my knowledge and communicative competence for this complaint to UN: and question to EU:  

I hope my "one-man-NGO" could give you some information and I am looking forward to the publication of the results.  


Walter Keim
Stop this berufsverbot for a lawyer:
Who invites the Human Right Commissioner to Germany:
"Swedish solution" for Freedom of Information:
Why are Patients Rights insufficient? :
Who is responsible for the lack of freedom of information:
Fight the Nazi law:  

Copy: Bundesgerichtshof BGH AnwZ ( b ) 53/03, Case Plantiko ./. RAK Köln 1 ZU 65/02: My Intervention



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Colours on picture: dark green: FOIA enacted. Yellow: pending law. FOIA= Freedom of Information Act