Argentine Supreme Court Issues Major FOI Decision

4 December 2012

The Argentine Supreme Court of Justice Dec. 4 issued a landmark ruling (in Spanish), ordering the government to provide access to information based on the Constitution’s guarantee of a right to information.

The court told the National Institute for Retirees and Pensioners (PAMI) to provide information on its advertising budget, which had been requested by the Association for Civil Rights (ADC).

“The ruling is significant because it is the first time that the court recognizes, explicitly and forceful, the constitutional basis of the right of access to public information,” said Alvaro Herrero, executive director of the ADC in a statement (in Spanish). ADC has prepared an English summary.

The unanimous high court rejected the government’s contention that the agency was not covered by the presidential decree (Decree 1172/03).

The court ordered the release of the documents, calling the refusal arbitrary and unlawful, and basing its decision on Articles 1, 14, 16, 31, 32, 33 and art. 75, paragraph 22, of the Constitution. The court also referenced international human rights declarations.

The court heard the case on Nov. 22. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)  The effort to pass a FOI law have recently hit another pause.  (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) 

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