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FOI Litigation in Bulgaria
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FOI Litigation in 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. Criteria for Free Legal Help in Court Cases
    • Provisions to be challenged;
    • Public interest in information;
    • Necessity for legal aid.
  • 3. Forms of Free Legal Help in Court Cases
    • Counseling;
    • Preparing the application and submissions;
    • Representation in the court;
    • Non- legal activities: monitoring of cases, media campaigning.
  • 4. FOI Court Cases
    • Assisted by AIP : more than 90;
    • In the Supreme Administrative Court: about 130;
    • Monitored – 18.
  • 5. FOI cases 2004 - 2005 W WW.AIP-BG.ORG
  • 6. Requests
    • Related to :
    • contracts between the gov’ and companies;
    • State audit reports;
    • Documents classified before 1989;
    • Data of public officials or civil servants: property, expenses etc.;
    • Public services (e.g. health care);
    • Reports on/ doc’ exposing wrongdoings;
    • Environmental matters (incl. PHARE, ISPA, EIB etc.).
  • 7. Media coverage of FOI litigation Jan – May 2005
    • 45 Radio and TV shows
    • 27 Articles in newspapers
  • 8. Positive Effects of Litigation
    • It is part of the AI campaigning (civic education)
      • FOI litigation becomes fashionable (journalists and MPs readily sue the Gov’)
      • Citizens inspired to refer to court alone
    • Traditional fields of secrecy or privacy are challenged successfully
    • Courts give interpretation of the law and guidelines for
    • Public administration becomes interested in trainings and the court practice
  • 9. Problems
    • Court decisions not binding the executives, but sending the case back;
    • No execution of court decisions;
    • Bad interpretation of the law
    • Reluctance to go deeply into the three-part test examination of exemptions
  • 10. Remedy for problems
    • Litigation, litigation and litigation
    • Training for judges, awareness of standards
    • Changes in law (only if no other way is available). Carefully seeking to foresee the consequences.