Research on Open Data and Transparency

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New paper ‘Freedom of Information in Europe: Creation, Context and Conflict’



This paper takes an overview of the development and implementation of Access to Information laws across Europe. It argues that laws are shaped (and re-shaped) by their creation, context and the resulting conflict. It begins by examining the link between the passage of the legislation and the differences in their implementation. While there are common features and trends in ATI laws, they differ by the type of political systems, legacies of open or secret cultures, and the strength of political support or opposition. The paper ends by looking at how contestation and conflict continue to shape Europe’s ATI laws. Regimes go through phases of ‘expansion’ or ‘dismantling’ over time and systems are now increasingly shaped by the wider ‘ecology’ of openness in which they are placed (Knill 2012: Kreimer 2017).

Keywords: Access to Information, Freedom of Information, Europe

Download it here.

[image via Walter Keim]

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FOISA in Scotland-How’s it Doing?


Being a bit of an FOI nerd, recently I asked myself how many FOI laws are in operation in the UK in 2019. Currently, by my count there are four: the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘FOIA’), the Freedom of Information Scotland Act 2002 (‘FOISA’), the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 and the Isle of Man Freedom of Information Act 2015.

One of those laws, FOISA, is currently enjoying an MOT of sorts. As happened in the UK in 2015, the Scottish Parliament is examining how well FOISA is functioning.

Read my PDP analysis here FOI in Scotland – how is it doing – Ben Worthy, Birkbeck College UCL (Volume 15, Issue 5) (1)