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Nazarova v. Ministry of Justice

Case number:
GKPI10-459 (ГКПИ10-459)
Country:
Russia
Date of decision:
30 June 2010
Court / Arbiter:
Supreme Court, Highest court of appeal; decision unreviewable ( Supreme )


Decision:

A requester does not need to provide reasons in order to be able to have access to the government’s register of normative legal acts.


Keywords:
Burden of proof (including requests for additional evidence)
Databases
Electronic information (including websites, metadata, email, audio, visual and other records)
Open government principles (including accountability, anti-corruption, democracy, participation in government, transparency)
RTI law
Status of requester (including interest in information, citizenship, legal person, standing)

Case details:

Facts

Daria Nazarova, a lawyer with the Institute for Information Freedom Development (called the Foundation for Information Freedom since 2011), sought free online access to the register of normative legal acts, challenging the 2005 Order of the Ministry of Justice No. 244 which limited access to those who advance a "motivated written request." Ms. Nazarova claimed that the Order violated the right to information protections found in Article 8(5) of the Federal law No. 149-FZ “on information, informational technologies and on the protection of information”, and Articles 8(3) and 10(4) of the Federal law No. 8-FZ “on providing access to information about the activity of government bodies and bodies of local governance.”

Decision

The Court held that the right to access information presumes that citizens and organizations may search for and receive any information in any form, from any source, so long as conditions of federal law are met. The right to access information about government activity does not require a requester to prove necessity. The Court ruled that Section 8 of the Order is invalid insofar as it requires a “motivated written request.”

Resources:

Judgment of the Court (in Russian).

Unofficial English translation of the judgment.