FOI Litigation in Bulgaria / Litygacje w zakresie prawa do informacji w Bułgarii
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FOI Litigation in Bulgaria / Litygacje w zakresie prawa do informacji w Bułgarii

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Prezentacja "Litygacja w działalności Access to Information Programme" (Bułgaria)...

Prezentacja "Litygacja w działalności Access to Information Programme" (Bułgaria)

Presentation on litigation by Acces to Information Programme (Bulgaria)

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  • 1. FOI Litigation in Bulgaria W WW.AIP-BG.ORG Access to Information Programme Alexander Kashumov , Head of the legal team AIP
  • 2. History of the FOI litigation in Bulgaria
    • First two cases started in 2000 after the adoption of the access to information law
    • In 2001 the supreme admin. court ruled that despite not provided in the law, silent denials are subject to judicial review
    • In 2002 the first two victories of FOI seekers in courts
    • In 200 4 first court decisions on denials justified with state secrets
  • 3. Criteria for Free Legal Help in Court Cases
    • Provisions to be challenged
    • Public interest in information
    • Necessity for legal aid
  • 4. Forms of AIP Free Legal Help
    • Advise to prepare requests
    • Preparing applications and submissions to courts
    • Representation in the court
    • Non- legal activities: monitoring of cases, media campaigning
  • 5. Some statistics
    • Legal advise in about 4000 cases
    • Help in about 210 court cases
    • AIP provided 440 consultations in 329 cases of 144 citizens, 109 journalists and 44 NGOs in 2010
    • 104 FOI court cases won by the applicants in 2009
    • Around 50 comments, proposals and recommendations to improve FOI and related legislation
  • 6. FOI cases since APIA W WW.AIP-BG.ORG
  • 7. Interpretation of exemptions by courts
    • Narrow interpretation of state secrets:
      • In camera inspection of classified documents
      • Oversight on the lawfulness of classification
      • Narrow application of the classification categories
    • Deliberations of state bodies:
      • Applied only if final decision was taken;
      • Not covering data disclosing facts.
    • Personal data protected:
      • Not applied to income, property and education of public figures
      • Not applied to data of expenses related to the job.
    • Trade secrets:
      • Not applied to the content of contracts with public bodies;
      • Not applied to reports on contracts’ performance
  • 8. Types of information
    • Related to :
    • contracts between the gov’ and companies
    • FCA matters
    • Documents classified in the past or in odd circumstances
    • Data of public officials or civil servants: property, expenses etc.
    • Data from the property register of officials
    • Expenditure of EU money (PHARE, ISPA)
    • Public services (Health care)
    • Wrongdoings and corruption
    • Environmental matters
  • 9. Positive Effects of Litigation
    • AI campaigning (civic education)
    • AI litigation became fashion (journalists and MPs readily sue the Gov’)
    • Traditional fields of secrecy or privacy are successfully challenged and changed to more transparency
    • Courts give interpretation of the law and guidelines to officials
    • Public administration becomes interested in being trained and getting knowledge on the court practice
    • Knowing court practice makes information requesting more efficient and helps developing tactics
  • 10. Problems and risks
    • Bad interpretation of the law by courts happens
    • No sanction or compensation for failure of civil servants to apply the law
    • Some court decisions not binding the executives, but sending the case back
    • Applicants charged for exercise of the right to apply to court
  • 11. Possible steps on those problems
    • Monitoring of litigation and administrative practices,
    • Trying cases for compensation or disciplinary sanctions of responsible servants
    • Always try to formulate what exactly you do expect (decision on the merit or on procedural question) .
    • Advocacy for legal changes or better interpretation of the law as regards costs & expenses
  • 12. Kalina Pavlova – Citizen’s award 2011
  • 13. NGO awarded in 2011 Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development
  • 14. Journalist’s award for 2011