Brazil Advances Access Legislation

28 June 2010

Brazil is moving toward passage of an access to information law, although most observers sy final action won’t occur until after the upcoming electons.

A Senate commission June 16 passed the bill, the first of possibly four Senate commissions that need to act. The approval by the Commission of Constitution, Justice and Citizenship  follows House passage, which occurred on April 13.

The Foreign Commission also has asked to see the bill, which could mean that four commissions review the bill.  The first one was Constitution, Justice and Citizenship, the other two are Science, Technology, Innovation, Communication and Informatics; and Human Rights and Participative Legislation.

The bill “has provisions in line with international standards, but it still has some shortcomings,” according to the London-based Article XIX, which has participated in consultations about the legislation.

“A key problem is that it fails to provide for the establishment of an independent body to consider appeals against refusals to provide access to information. The experience of other countries demonstrates that such a body is essential to the success of an access to information law,” said Article XIX in a recent statement.

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