Comparative law International legislation Uruguay. Right of access to public information (in Spanish) Canada. Access to Information Act (in English and French) United States of America. The Freedom of Information Act. Chile. Law on the Transparency of the Public Function and Access to State Government Information (in Spanish) Brazil. Law on Access to Public Information (in Portuguese) United Kingdom. Freedom of Information Act 2000 Germany. Hamburg’s Law on Transparency (in German) Estonia. Law on Public Information Finland. Act on the Openness of Government Activities France. Law on Measures to Improve Relations between the Administration and the Public and Diverse Provisions of an Administrative, Social and Fiscal Nature (in French) European Parliament. Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents European Commission. Report from the Commission on the application in 2008 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents European Parliament and Council. Directive 2019/1024 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on open data and the re-use of public sector information Council of Europe. Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents Legislation in Spain Autonomous Community of La Rioja. Law 3/2014 on Transparency and Good Governance in La Rioja (in Spanish), enacted on 11 September 2014 Autonomous Community of Andalusia. Law 1/2014 on Public Transparency in Andalusia (in Spanish), enacted on 24 June 2014 Autonomous Community of Extremadura. Law 4/2013 on Open Government in Extremadura (in Spanish), enacted on 21 May 2013 Autonomous Community of Navarra. Law 5/2018 on Transparency, access to public information and good governance (in Spanish), enacted on 17 May 2018 Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. Law 12/2014 on Transparency and Access to Public Information (in Spanish), enacted on 26 December 2014 Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia. Law 12/2014 on Transparency and Citizens' Participation (in Spanish), enacted on 16 December 2014 Autonomous Community of Galicia. Law 1/2016, of January 18, on transparency and good governance Autonomous Community of the Principality of Asturias. Law 8/2018, of September 14, on Transparency, Good Government and Interest Groups Autonomous Community of Cantabria. Law 1/2018, of March 21, on Transparency of Public Activity Autonomous Community of Aragon. Law 8/2015, of March 25, of Transparency of the Public Activity and Citizen Participation of Aragon Community of Castilla y León. Law 3/2015, of March 4, on Transparency and Citizen Participation of Castilla y León Community of Madrid. Law 10/2019, of April 10, on Transparency and Participation of the Community of Madrid Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha. Law 4/2016, of December 15, on Transparency and Good Government of Castilla-La Mancha Valencian Community. Law 2/2015, dated April 2, on Transparency, Good Governance and Citizen Participation of the Valencian Community Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands. Law 4/2011, of March 31, on the good administration and good governance of the Balearic Islands Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. In procession in Parliament Jurisprudence Judgment of the Court of Justice of 22 March 2011, Access Info Europe v. the Council of the European Union In this case, the Access Info Europe association applied to the Council of the European Union for access to information regarding proposed amendments and re-drafting submitted by various member states affecting European Parliament and Council regulations regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The Council granted partial access to the requested document including the proposals but without permitting identification of the member state that had formulated the particular proposal, since it considered that releasing this information could cause significant damage to the decision-making process (established in article 4, section 3, paragraph 1 of Regulation 1049/2001). The Court noted that the object of the Regulation is to guarantee the fullest possible access to documents, especially when an institution is acting in its legislative capacity. The Court reached the conclusion that, in a system based on the principle of democratic legitimacy, the Council had not sufficiently demonstrated, in fact or in law, that releasing the information regarding the identity of the authors of the proposals would cause significant damage to the legislative procedure, or the need to preserve the identity of the delegations or authors. Judgment of the Court of Justice of 1 July 2008, Maurizio Turco v. the Council of the European Union Mr. Turco submitted a request to the Council for access to documents mentioned in the agenda of the ‘Justice and Home Affairs’ Council meeting, among them an opinion of the Council’s legal service on a proposal for a council directive laying down minimum standards for the reception of applicants for asylum in member states. The Council refused his request on the grounds that, firstly, the disclosure of this legal advice could create uncertainty regarding the legality of the legislative act and, secondly, that systematic disclosure could undermine the independence of its legal service. The Court of First Instance rejected the appellant’s appeal, declaring the Council right in its interpretation of the exception to access (article 4, section 2 of Regulation 1049/2001). In contrast, the Court of Justice determined that article 4 must be construed as aiming to protect an institution’s interest in seeking legal advice and receiving frank, objective and comprehensive advice. And with regard to uncertainty over legality, the Court pointed out that it is precisely transparency that helps to give institutions greater legitimacy in the eyes of European citizens. The court found that this general and abstract claim over uncertainty was insufficient to refuse the release of the said opinions. Order of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of 19 September 2006, Claude Reyes et al. v. Chile (in Spanish) The appellants requested information regarding a deforestation project to be carried out by the Chilean Government that could be damaging to the environment and hamper the sustainable development of Chile. According to the appellants, their request was refused without justification. The sentence declares that there is no need to demand information from the applicant that confirms that they will be directly affected or that they have a specific interest and that, to guarantee protection of the right to access to information, an administrative procedure is required that is suited to processing and resolving applications for information and which establishes deadlines for resolving and supplying information. Judgment of the Court of First Instance of 13 April 2005, Verein für Konsumenteninformation v. the Commission of the European Communities The appellant, a consumer information association, requested authorisation from the European Commission to consult the administrative file concerning a decision it regarded as crucial in relation to defending consumers’ interests. In the judgment, the court analyses whether there was a need to specifically and individually assess each of all the documents to determine the applicability of the exceptions to the right of access in order to ascertain the information to which access would and would not be given. Judgment of the Court of Human Rights of 19 October 2005, Roche v. the United Kingdom In this case, the applicant alleged that he was suffering from a disease as a consequence of his exposure to chemicals during tests conducted at Porton Down. The court found that there was a positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible means for all applicants to access “all relevant and appropriate information”. Judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 December 2001, Heidi Hautala v. the Council of the European Union This judgment resolves an appeal presented by the Council of the European Union against the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities annulling the Council’s decision to refuse Ms. Heidi Hautala access to a report of a working group. The Court of Justice upheld the judgment of the Court of First Instance on the grounds that the Council had not submitted any reason to show why an institution should be able to keep secret the items of information contained in a document which are not covered by the exceptions of article 4, section 1, of Decision 93/731. Judgment of the Court of First Instance of 10 October 2001, British American Tobacco International v. the Commission of the European Communities In this case, the applicant sought access to the minutes of a meeting on special taxes, a request that was refused by the Commission on the grounds that disclosure of the documents in question could undermine the protection of confidentiality requested by the legal persons that had supplied the information. In this judgment, the Court repeated its jurisprudence on the restrictive interpretation that must be made of the exceptions detailed in Decision 94/90, which must be interpreted and applied strictly. The judgment assesses the moment when the application was presented and whether, at that time, any injury may have been done to the participants in the meeting who expressed their points of view. Judgment of the Court of Justice of 30 April 1996, the Kingdom of the Netherlands v. the Council of the European Union This judgment resolves an action for annulment brought by the Netherlands and the European Parliament against the Council of the European Union. The appeal was in relation to Council Decision 93/731/EC of 20 December 1993 regarding access to Council documents and other rules and regulations on access to information. As the Community legislature had not as yet approved general rules on the right of public access to documents held by the Community institutions, these institutions had to adopt measures concerning the processing of these applications by virtue of their power of internal organisation, even though they may have erga omnes effects. Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 19 February 1998, Guerra and others v. Italy In this case, the applicants submitted a request to the authorities for information regarding the risks to health and welfare arising from environmental pollution. Italy was found to have failed to provide information on risk factors and on how to proceed in the event of an accident at a chemical factory in the area where the applicants lived. Judgment of the Court of Human Rights of 7 July 1989, Gaskin v. the United Kingdom In this case, a British citizen had requested access to case records classified by the authorities as ‘confidential’ that contained information regarding the foster parents with whom he had lived and who had ill-treated him. The Court found that people in the applicant’s situation have a vital interest, protected by the Convention, in receiving the information they need to learn about and understand their childhood and their early development, and that the procedure in this specific case for guaranteeing access to information in the United Kingdom was inadequate.