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FOI Case Law Database

last modified Oct 02, 2012 04:00 PM

Right2info.org launched yesterday its Freedom of Information Case Law Database. The database includes summaries of a selection of national and regional court judgments from all over the world that illustrate how the courts interpret and view the right of access to information. It currently contains 55 case summaries from 21 countries and four international arbiters. We continue to add summaries on a regular basis and aim to reach a hundred summaries by the end of the year.

While the database does not include the latest decisions from each court, it does aim to include as many decisions as possible with the aim of providing organizations and individuals intending to litigate with a set of good arguments to make their case. Some of the useful features of the database are:

-          Summaries – instead of just providing full text of court decisions, we’ve summarized the most important aspects of the cases with references to the original text.

-          Headnotes – each summary starts with basic information on the case, including the Title, Country, Date of decision, Name and Type of the Court/Arbiter, Name and Type of the Relevant Law and a 2-3 sentences summary of the decision.

-          Texts of decisions – we’ve included the full text of the original decision in its original language and if available, also in English.

-          Briefs – for international cases we’ve included amicus briefs submitted by third party interveners.

-          Search function  - the database has four search options to help you navigate through the summaries. All search functions are described in detail in the User Guide that can also be found on the website.

-          Keywords – each summary is tagged with relevant keywords enabling you to pull up cases dealing with a particular issue, such as national security, environmental information, archives and many others.

Finally, this is a work in progress, and we very much appreciate your feedback and suggestions on both the content and technical aspects. Please send us your feedback as well as any corrections, missing links, as well as additional cases, case summaries and briefs to make this database even more interesting and useful.