4 December 2006

Alert

Right to information bill flawed, contains overbroad exceptions, says ARTICLE 19


(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - The following is a 1 December 2006 ARTICLE 19 press release:

ARTICLE 19 ANALYSES NEPALESE RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL

ARTICLE 19 today released an analysis of Nepal's Right to Information Bill - 2063 (2006). Although the Bill includes some very positive features, there are a number of shortcomings, including the seriously overbroad regime of exceptions, Law/Asia Programmes Director Toby Mendel said:

"Nepal now has an historic opportunity to put in place a truly democratic framework for freedom of expression and information. While we welcome this Bill, it needs to be strengthened so that the people of Nepal can fully enjoy the right to information, a right which their leaders have all made a clear commitment to respect."

ARTICLE 19's main concerns include:
- The vastly overbroad regime of exceptions, which includes many class exceptions not subject to a harm requirement, and which provides for other laws and even administrative classification to override the right of access.
- The failure of the Bill to provide for a right to appeal any refusal to provide access to an administrative body with the power to process appeals rapidly and at little cost, and to order public bodies to disclose information where warranted.
- The absence of protection for whistleblowers - individuals who expose wrongdoing - and for civil servants who disclose information in good faith pursuant to the law.
- The need for promotional measures - such as the production of a public guide to using the law, training for officials and reporting obligations for public bodies - to be included in the law.



Source

ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
6-8 Amwell Street
London
EC1R 1UQ
United Kingdom
info (@) article19.org
Fax:+44 20 7278 7660
Nepal

IFEX members working in this country 2

 
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