17 June 2012

Model freedom of information law consultation in Tunis

The final sub-regional consultation on the draft model law on access to information for African Union member states was held in Tunis on 16 and 17 June 2012.

The consultation was the final in a series held by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria on behalf of the African Commission Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, to obtain feedback on the draft model law.

The participants, government and civil society representatives from across North Africa, provided valuable insights into the key sub-regional challenges, as well as the synergies with other sub-regions on the continent, in establishing access to information regimes, which will be instrumental in informing the final draft of the law.

The expert working group will meet in Pretoria from 6 to 8 July to discuss feedback received from each of the sub-regional consultations (held in Maputo, Nairobi, Dakar and Tunis) as well as written submissions received from various regional and international actors in the access to information community.

Based on the determinations made by the expert group, the drafting team, consisting of Tammy O'Connor from SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme and Chantal Kisoon from the South African Human Rights Commission, will prepare a final draft of the law which will be submitted to the African Commission for adoption at its meeting in October 2012.

It is hoped that the model law will thereafter serve as a basis to assist African states to adopt access to information laws and provide a benchmark for states with existing laws to assess the standard of those laws.

Review the draft model law