Freedom of Press, Access to Information and the Rule of Law
Making government information accessible to the public is an essential element of good governance and development. It means that the public and government officials get to benefit from the transparency created due to a free exchange of information. This enables the public sector and civil society to collaborate in promoting and ensuring government accountability. As a critical conduit of information, a free and responsible press is a core component in transparency efforts which hold the government, civil society, and the private sector accountable for their actions. Numerous parts of the world, however, suffer from weak access to information and freedom of the press in law or in practice. Even if law makes access to information a formal process,many individuals do not have the tools or ability to access this information and utilize it to help develop improved social, economic and political societies built on transparency and accountability. Read more.
Only solidarity and identification with those who live outside the rule of law will extend its reach.
It is often stated that government, civil society, and the private sector need to be made accountable for the rule of law to subsist; but the legal system is often left out, yet its accountability and subjection to public scrutiny is quintessential to building the rule of law and reforming developing-world legal systems that are riddled with corruption and violence. In many developing countries, for instance, the police is indisputably the most corrupt agency. How can we hope to uphold human rights when the rule of law is being undermined by the very people who are supposed to be championing it? Read more »
Hi people, I wanted to introduce myself. I will be facilitating the Orientation Session on Media and I am very excited to hear about your experiences as journalists or media professionals working within (and sometimes outside) the laws and restrictions in your various countries.
The relationship between law and media is precarious and constantly evolving. While journalists must be cognizant of the laws in their country and make efforts to report on those who break these laws, it is also our responsibility to expose abuses of justice by those running the country and fight for our right to expose the truth. In some places, especially in my region, this is not always easy. Read more »
Transparency International's 2011-2015 strategy recognizes that much more needs to be done to move beyond established policy circles and mobilize a broader range of citizens to take action against corruption. Social media tools will need to be harnessed by TI to reach and maintain meaningful engagement with these groups. However, the potential of social media also brings with it several challenges. This report , published by London School of Economics and Political Science elaborates on the analysis that led to the identification of ten distinct yet mutually reinforcing recommendations that support TI's efforts to employ social media and establish new networks of anti-corruption volunteers. The research conducted for this report seeks to build the knowledge base on the availability of social media tools that are used to engage citizens in the fight against corruption.
CPJ's 2011 Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice. CPJ research shows that, time and again, entrenched corruption and dysfunction in law enforcement has thwarted justice in journalist murders.
As we prepare ourselves for the Barcelona travel and the World justice Forum, and only a stone throw from the hotel in which we will be discussing, Spanish police forces are violently trying to break a non-violent demonstration for more equal rights to the people.
I hope our get together will take into account recent developments right next to our conference hall. Any serious discussion of the rule of law, has to include a discussion on civil disobedience, and to acknowledge our reality, in which many of the worlds criminals have legislative power. Making a list here would be way to long. Read more »
I am delighted to moderate this very interesting session, and hope to help have a deep discussion on how access to information facilitates the rule of law. In several countries, including mine, access to information is not rooted in culture and politics. People and sometimes governments do not understand the importance to have full access to information to achieve citizens´participation and a more transparent environment. I would like to promote a debate on concrete ways to achieve it, and compare lessons learned among regions. An additional challenge is how to show public officials that the press and the information is not a tool against them, but an opportunity for them to make a more vigorous society.