TAI Africa makes 7 suggestions for improvement of the African Union Model ATI Law
Aug 16, 2011
TAI tree in Uganda.jpg
Tree in Mabira Forest, Uganda

The Access Initiative Africa (TAI-Africa) has submitted comments on the African Union Model ATI Law drafted by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (the Special Rapporteur) in time for its August 15th deadline (http://www.achpr.org/english/info/newsen.html).The commentary praises the AU for the creation of the model law , the scope of the draft and its innovative provisions that include

•The inclusion of both public and private bodies in the scope of the law (sections 3-18);

•Provisions to assist requestors including restrictions on fees to the cost of reproduction, provisions to allow oral requests, and access to information in various forms and languages (sections 25, 32-34);

•A robust oversight mechanism with the responsibility to promote the Act (sections 58-98);

The commentary makes seven suggestions for improvement of the Model ATI Law and also outlines principles for the development of a model law itself. Authors of the commentary note that “The model AU law needs to provide strong and clear minimum standards which national ATI laws must under all circumstances meet. Such minimum criteria should be broad enough to be implemented everywhere on the Continent. They should also be narrow enough to restrict interpretations that weaken their meaning. Minimum criteria can come in the form of principles, which governments drafting ATI laws must not violate. These principles should effectively guide governments and citizens toward the passage and implementation of visionary national ATI laws that fit local contexts”.

Comments on Model AU ATI Law option TWO.pdf308.96 KB

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