Title: The false promise of human rights-based approach to freedom of information laws

Authors: Dang Trung Ha

Addresses: Griffith Law School 0.12 Law Building N61, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia

Abstract: This article explores a normative ideal of human rights-based approach ('HRBA') to freedom of information ('FOI') laws and why it has failed in practice in many countries. Arguably, a HRBA, which stresses the intrinsic values of a right to access state-held information, is claimed as an essential approach to drafting of FOI laws. However, the approach cannot operate in a vacuum, and its adoption should depend on local political, economic, and cultural contexts. Instrumentalism links FOI laws to the function of a tool for accountability, effect of public administration or globalisation led to a deficit of common principles agreed to for FOI laws and does not go far enough in protecting the right of access to state-held information as a human right.

Keywords: freedom of information; human rights; accountability; public administration; globalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2017.088737

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2017 Vol.5 No.2, pp.159 - 175

Received: 17 Jul 2017
Accepted: 29 Jul 2017

Published online: 05 Dec 2017 *

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