In just the first full day of his historic Presidency, Barack Obama took significant steps towards restoring transparency and accountability in a government widely criticized for its unbridled secrecy, by signing an executive order (EO) affecting the release of presidential records, and releasing three memorandums, including, one reforming the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and another articulating his administration’s commitment towards openness and transparency in government.
The Kenyan government’s power to undermine the press’ essential role in providing and interpreting access to information has been reaffirmed and strengthened by President Mwai Kibaki, who rang in the New Year by codifying a series of amendments to the controversial 1998 Communications Bill.
“While Press Freedom is a cardinal pillar of democracy,” the President explained, “this is a right that carries with it special duties and responsibilities. Press freedom must therefore be counterbalanced with other freedoms and must at all times take into account the overriding interest and the safety of Kenyans.”
A trademark of the French legal system is being challenged by President Nicolas Sarkozy, angering critics who fear that his proposed changes will upset and weaken the nation’s rule of law.
The centerpiece of Sarkozy’s plan calls for the abolishment of investigating magistrates (“Juges d’Instruction,” in French), an institutional relic of the Napoleonic era that has generated considerable opposition in recent years.
In the last period one of the cases which was subject of research in Macedonia was the case of the big polluter Refinery OKTA. One of the recommendations of the TAI report related to the legal legislator was the change in the Environmental law Article 212 i.e. increasing the minimal fines to 100 000 euros for the legal and natural persons who cause pollution or harm the environment.