From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com]
Sent: 28. September 2004 ("Right
to Know" Day)
Subject: [Intl_FOIA] Who supports Access to Information for Germany?
somebody out there who has better experiences?
Access to information is a human right according
to to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the jurisdiction
of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
This is the basis of the following petitions and complaints
national, regional and global:
27 complaints about lack of human right of access to information in Germany
in the years 2001 to 2013:
- national: authorities (government,
- regional: EU (Parliament, Commission,
Agency for Fundamental Rights), Council
of Europe (Parliament, Commissioner
for Human Rights, GRECO, ECHR), OSCE, International
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
- global: UN (HRC, OHCHR,
- Petition to European Parliament: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petition_eu.htm#ARTICLE19
(27 December 2001): Support in words, but no action.
- Complaint to German Constitutional Court: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/v-klage_en.htm#ARTICLE19.
Dismissed without giving a reason.
- Petition to German Parliament: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petition_ifg.htm#ARTICLE19
on Freedom of Information: After 3 years a law, but international
standards not met.
- Petition the UN Petition Team: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petition_un.htm#ARTICLE19:
- Complaint to UN Human Rights Committee: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/un-0509.htm:
- Complaint to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/un-complaint.htm,
- Question to EU Commission: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/eu-complaint.htm:
- Complaint to the Council of Europe http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/coe-complaint.htm.
- Petition to German Parliament: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petition_me-en.htm
on human rights: No support.
- Complaint to Administrative court: Case
VG 2 A 85.04: Walter Keim vs. Federal Republic of Germany on
Freedom of information and Constitutional
Complaint Freedom of Information 1 BvR 1981/05: No legal
basis for such a application.
- Complaint to the OSCE (Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe): http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/osce-complaint.htm
(10. December 2004):
- UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of
the right to freedom of opinion and expression: 10
December 2004, 1. July 2006, 1 March 2007: No answer.
- Petition to 12 German Lander (federal states): http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/050731bl-en.htm:
4 laws passed in 2006.
- 07. Sep. 2005: Petition to German Parliament to
add access to public information to constitution: No support
- Complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR):
(11. November 2005): 02. September 2008: ECHR: "(T)he
court found that they did not disclose any appearance of a violation
of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention".
- Petition to European Parliament on human rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/petition-hr.htm
(10. December 2005):
Not even admitted.
- Petition to the PACE
(Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe): http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/pace-complaint.htm
(1. January 2006). No decision on admission yet. (No
- Submission to EU Network of
independent experts on fundamental rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/eu-network-basic-rights.htm
(1 June 2006): Funding stopped.
- 1. July 2006: Will the International
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) support human rights
in Germany?: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/ihf-complaint.htm:
Focus on other states.
- 1 March 2007: Will the EU Fundamental
Rights Agency collect quality data on human rights
and fundamental rights in member states?: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/eu-hra-complaint.htm:
No mandate for individual complaints.
- Complaint to ECHR (European Court of Human Rights): Keim (II) v. Germany Appl.
No. 31583/07 at the European Court of Human Rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/egmr-klage-en.htm:
- 6. February 2008: Petition to German federal Parliament: Germany
should Sign and Ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the
Access to Official Documents.
- 19. August 2009: Keim (III) v. Germany ECHR Appl.
No. 46953/09 access to income of MPs sideline jobs. Not
- 24. April 2012: X. Baltic Sea NGO Forum
supports Access to Information: The
role of international lawmakers and their respective influence on
national legislation on access to information.
- 14. September 2012: Parallel Report to the
Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the consideration of the
Sixth Periodic Report of Germany during the Committee’s 106th Session.
session (15 October - 2 November 2012) in Geneva was ignored.
- Baltic Sea NGO Forum (18. September 2012): Submission
for the Sixteenth Session of the Working Group on the Universal
Periodic Review: Germany : http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-upr-de.htm
- Complaint to Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and
ARTICLE 19 provided information
showing the recognition of "Freedom of
Information as an Internationally Protected Human Right" according
to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
fact I would not have had the courage to write these petitions and
complaints without your publications.
Although the human
right of freedom of information is in more then 90
countries all over the world with 5.5
billion inhabitants both Germany authorities and international
institutions seem not actively to support it:
- The petition to the EU Parliament is
admissible and concludes: Improving the protection of the rights
and interests of citizens of the Member States of the Union is listed in
Article 2 as an objective of the Union. (see page 7/173 doc. A5-0318/2000):
However this objective is not actively supported, a consultation of the
German Parliament is not started, i. e. Germany can proceed violating
Freedom of Information.
- The German Constitutional Court
does not admit the complaint and gives no
reason for this decision: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/030310bvg-en.htm
- It took 3 years for the German
Parliament to answer
the petition dated 21. December 2001. The
Committee of Petitions supported the petition 1.
December 2004 and suggested to send it to the government "to be taken
into account". The parliament was
debating it's own draft law, with too
many exceptions and expiring after a trial period (see
section 15). The president of the German parliament send the Petition
of 22. December 2004 to chancellor Schröder. An answer should be given
within 6 weeks. At last the
parliament (Bundestag and Bundesrat) adopted a Freedom of Information
- Obviously the UN Special Rapporteur is
committed. But this commitment of is not followed
up by the UN Petitions Unit: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/030425un.htm.
- The Human Rights Committee of the UN
observe that Germany reports false: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/031029EFIL.htm
about Freedom of Information.
- The United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights did not answer up to now: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/un-040816.htm.
Will UN take their responsibility
according to ICCPR seriously? The last attempt is dated 19. October 2005. The
concluding observations do not mention Freedom of Information.
- The EU Commission does not
promote Freedom of Information in Germany and
tolerates member states not respecting
human right and fundamental rights of the Charter
of the EU. It is suggested to contact
the CoE. The EU Ombudsman http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/eu-complaint_614_2004_TES.htm suggests
to contact the Council of Europe: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/eu-040607.pdf.
However Freedom of Information is only a fundamental right in EU but has
been forgotten in the European Convention of Human Rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/020106coe.htm.
Recommendations are not followed and are not even translated by Germany:
- Will the Commissioner for Human Rights
of the CoE promote Freedom of Information: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/coe-031128.htm?
Here is a contribution to a survey
in Europe about Germany.
- There was no progress on the petition
on human rights of 21. December 2003 to the German parliament.
Therefore the administrative court was asked for support: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/vg-entwurf-en.htm.
The administrative court in did not support the
idea of a fair answer in case
VG 2 A 85.04: Walter Keim vs. Federal Republic of Germany. There
is no right to get a fair justified answer
according to the decision 1 BvR 1553/90
of the constitutional court.
- The Administrative Court in
Berlin ruled 9. May 2005 not to
admit the denial of access to be taken to court: There is no legal
basis for such a application, i. e. international treaties are violated.
This was appealed in a Constitutional
Complaint 18. August 2005, but not admitted.
- The OSCE Representative on Freedom of
the Media is monitoring the situation of media in all 55
OSCE participating States, including Germany.: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/osce-050106.htm.
report 2007 (Walter Keim mentioned).
- No answer at all from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion
and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and
- 8 German lander (federal states)
have adopted FOI laws, 2 are working on draft laws and 8 lander
have voted against FOI and do not have FOI laws at all. 8
federal states (lander) continue to violate the human right of access
to public documents.
- German Parliament considered it not necessary to secure access to
information in the constitution.
- The European Court of Human Rights
accepted a complaint dated 23. November 2005,
which got Registration No. 41126/05 was given by ECHR. How many
years will it take to decide on this case?
- On 16 January 2006 the Committee of
Petitions of the European Parliament wrote that EU/OSCE human
rights principles are not yet covered by EU legislation and did not
consider the petition. The Committee is
useless to promote human rights.
- PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe) accepted a Petition
which was transmitted to competent PACE committee 13. January 2006.
- The EU Network of
independent experts on fundamental rights answered 16.June 2006: The contract of the EU
Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights finishes in
September 2006 and will not be renewed.
- Will the International Helsinki
Federation for Human Rights (IHF) support human rights in
Germany? Information is gathered and
problematic issues raised in our publications and meetings with
authorities. However funding has been stopped.
- What will the Fundamental Rights
Agency (FRA) of the EU do? Answer:
FRA seems not to be allowed to monitor member states.
- A decision of the ECHR on admissibility took 3 years: 02.
September 2008: ECHR: "(T)he court
found that they did not disclose any appearance of a violation of
the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention" .
- 24. July 2010: Germany has no plans to sign the Convention on the
Access to Official Documents.
- 10. December 2009: Keim (III) v. Germany ECHR Appl.
No. 46953/09 access to income of MPs sideline jobs. Not
- 24. April 2012: X. Baltic Sea NGO Forum
supports Access to Information: CCPR
submission and UPR submission
session (15 October - 2 November 2012) in Geneva ignored the human
right of access to information.
Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Germany
The Commissioner for Human Rights of the
Council of Europe planned to consider the material in the context of
a visit to Germany which was planned in 2005. The visit took place in
2006. The Commissioner made many suggestions e. g. that the German
Rights Institute should monitor, development of national action plan on
So up to now little progress is visible, the only result achieved is an
investigation on who is responsible for the lack of Freedom of
Information in 5 of 16 states in
Up to 2003 civil society in Germany did not
support FOI sufficiently. However in April
2004 German NGOs worked out their own draft FOIA and started a
which was necessary for progress to work out a law. A bill was passed 2005
in the federation. However international standards with respect to maximum
disclosure and low fees were not met, 78 % of the world population have
better laws. 2006 a Society
Freedom of Information was founded.
Both EU (EU Commission,
EU Parliament, EU
Council, IHF, Fundamental
Agency), Council of Europe, OSCE,
and UN (HRC,
OHCHR, UPR) ignore that FOI
is still missing in 5 of 16 federal states.
Support freedom of information: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/foi.htm#e-mail,
Support patients rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/patients.htm#e-mail