Draft RTI Law in Palestine Given Weak RTI Rating

17 March 2014

The Council of Ministers in Palestine has proposed a right to information law that scores poorly on a rating system for RTI laws.

Also, the Council’s draft is weaker than one developed by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), according to an analysis by the Canadian-based Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD). An effort is under way to pass an RTI law in Palestine.

“Using the RTI Rating (http://www.rti-rating.org/), the December draft obtained a score of 92 points out of a possible 150, which has now declined to just 85 points, well into the bottom half of all countries globally with right to information (RTI) laws,” according to a statement from CLD.

“We welcome the fact that Palestine is preparing a right to information law,” said CLD Executive Director, Toby Mendel. “But it is very unfortunate that the draft has been weakened, rather than strengthened, since our last analysis, especially given the strong trend globally towards adopting stronger RTI laws.”

According to the analysis, the draft Law does “relatively well” in terms of scope of application and is “moderately strong” in terms of the regime of exceptions and promotional measures.

Weaknesses concern the right of access, proactive disclosure, requesting procedures, appeals and sanctions and protections.

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