"Access to information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right which should be given effect at the national level through comprehensive legislation [...] based on the principle of maximum disclosure".
UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression 2004

Deutsch auf Deutsch über gleiches Thema: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/if-eu.htm

Walter Keim, Email: walter.keim@gmail.com
Torshaugv. 2 C
N-7020 Trondheim, 7. November 2012

Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Wallnerstrasse 6
A-1010 Vienna

Support of the Human Right of Access to Public Documents in Germany by Commenting ATI Laws

Dear Mrs. Mijatovic,

I appreciate your commitment to the human right of access to information.

The OSCE COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT LAW ON TRANSPARENCY, ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE OF SPAIN April 2012 (1) state "International documents (...) state that access to information is a fundamental human right and an essential condition for all democratic societies." The "principle of maximum disclosure" is uphold.

I would like to draw your attention to the situation in Germany.

The X. Baltic Sea NGO Forum found room for improvement analysing transparency and anti corruption in Germany:
  1. 88 states with approx. 5.5 billion inhabitants i. e. 78% of the world population give better access to information then the federal Freedom of Information Law in Germany (http://www.rti-rating.org/country-data/). 
  2. more than 115 states (http://right2info.org/laws) with more then 5.9 billion inhabitants i. e. 84 % of the worlds population adopted FOI laws or provisions in constitutions. 5 German states with half of the population lack FOI laws.  
  3. The UN Convention against Corruption is ratified by more than 159 states with more then 6,5 billion inhabitants, but not by Germany
  4. Germany did not ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and does not follow Recommendation Rec(2003)4 on common rules against corruption in the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns of the Council of Europe as GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) suggested 4 December 2009.
  5. Germany is the only state in Europe which has not ratified any of these to conventions against corruption.
Both EU, Council of Europe (CoE) and the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) ignore these problems.

EU demands access to information laws from new members but does not even observe lack of such laws in "old" member states (2) and refers to the "Council of Europe has well established human rights mechanisms."

However GRECO (CoE Group of States against Corruption) did not observe the lack of ATI laws in 5 German federal states (Bundesländer) (3).

The Human Rights Committee praised the high human rights standards of the EU country Germany, but ignored that it had been informed about the lack of ATI (4).

Both GRECO and HRC experts do not do the job they are paid for (5). Therefore OSCE is the only hope.

The Freedom of Information law of the federal state Thuringa adopted 2007 automatically ceases 31. December 2012. Therefore a new law has to be adopted.

Both the German federation and federal state Thuringa (Thüringen) are at the moment in the process of reviewing ATI legislation.

Journalists have criticized and commented on the draft Freedom of Information Law Thuringa: Inventions from hell (8) (Erfindungen aus der Hölle).

Germany is the least developed state in the OSCE area looking at ATI. Therefore I would like to suggest that OSCE supports international standards by commenting the ATI laws of the German Republic (6) and the federal state Thuringa (7). 


Walter Keim

Copy: Mr. Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur, Fundamental Rights AgencyCommittee of Human Rights of the German Parliament, German Institute for Human Rights, Parliamentary parties in the parliament of the federal state Thuringa


  2. Keim, Walter (1.September 2011): EU does not Support the Human Right of Access to Public Documents : http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/foi-eu.htm
  3. Keim, Walter (24. August 2012): GRECO failed in Second Evaluation Round and must therefore do better in Third Round : http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/121104foianet.html
  4. 14. September 2012: Parallel Report to the Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the consideration of the Sixth Periodic Report of Germany during the Committee’s 106 th Session submitted by: Walter Keim, participant of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/foi-ccpr-de.htm
  5. Keim, Walter (November 2012): Should GRECO and HRC experts do the job they are paid for? http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/121104foianet.html
  6. German Federal Freedom of Information Law: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_ifg/
  7. Draft Freedom of Information Law Thuringa: http://www.parldok.thueringen.de/parldok/Cache/8840AA50A9058134424FF1CA.pdf
  8. www.djv-thueringen.de (30. October. 2012): Informationsfreiheitsgesetz. Erfindungen aus der Hölle : http://www.djv-thueringen.de/Nachricht.2274+M5c5bf2ff05e.0.html



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