IMEP proposes amendments to the Preliminary Draft Law on Freedom of Access to Information

IMEP proposes amendments to the Preliminary Draft Law on Freedom of Access to Information

IMEP proposes amendments to the Preliminary Draft Law on Freedom of Access to Information

As part of the Independent Media Empowerment Program (IMEP), implemented by the Center for Civil Society Promotion (CCSP), a debate „Participate in the creation of the Preliminary Draft Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH – WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE ?“ was organized on March 15, 2021.

The keynote speakers at this interactive event were Jasminka Džumhur, Institution of the Human Rights Ombudsman for BiH, Leila Bičakčić, Center for Investigative Reporting and Uglješa Vuković, Transparency International BH.

Following the discussion, the legal expert of the IMEP team proposed amendments to the Preliminary Draft Law on Freedom of Access to Information. The proposal was submitted through e-consultations to the Ministry of Justice of BiH. The proposal is based on legal amendments in the sense that:

  • proactive transparency must not be an obstacle to the exercise of the right of access to information on request;
  • exceptions to access to information must be precisely standardized and reduced to the protection of a narrow circle of legitimate values ​​(national security, protection of privacy, crime prevention, etc.);
  • the public interest test, which determines whether the application of an exception is justified, must be elaborated and clearly specified in the Law in order to protect the public interest;
  • deadlines for dealing with requests for access to information must be short and no further extension of the deadline may be allowed;
  • law enforcement institutions must be independent and specialized in the field of access to information

The Law on Freedom of Access to Information in BiH is one of the key laws for ensuring media and civil liberties. This law allows journalists, citizens, activists and organizations to monitor the work of public bodies, and any amendment to this regulation must be carefully considered and harmonized with international standards.

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