Deutschauf Deutsch: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/130105aa.html

Subject: National Report in Preparation for the 2nd Hearing of Germany under the Universal Periodic Review
Von: Walter Keim <wkeim@broadpark.no>
Datum: 05/01/2013 12:38
An: Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning
CC: "poststelle@auswaertiges-amt.de", "info@gruene-fraktion.de", Fraktion SPD Bundestag, "fraktion@cducsu.de", FDP Fraktion Bundestag, "fraktion@linksfraktion.de", Piratenpartei

Access to information is part of freedom of expression, together with an active citizenry, and thus one of the preconditions for ensuring a vibrant and well-informed democracy. NGOs demand of the governments to respect and comply with their obligations following national and international standards.
 
First Baltic Sea NGO Forum 2001



Dear Mr. Commissioner for Human Rights Löning,

I refer to the National Report in Preparation for the 2nd Hearing of Germany under the Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR).

I appreciate that the civil society was invited to discuss. the report.

The Baltic Sea NGO Forum has 17. September 2013 submitted a contribution, which is published on the website of the Human Rights Institute and included to this letter.

The challenges for Germany for transparency and access to information are:
  1. 88 states with approx. 5.5 billion inhabitants i. e. 78% of the world population give better access to information then the federal Freedom of Information Law in Germany (http://rti-rating.org/country_rating.php). 
  2. More then 120 states (http://right2info.org/laws) with more then 5.9 billion inhabitants i. e. 84 % of the worlds population adopted FOI laws or provisions in constitutions. 5 German states with half of the population lack FOI laws.  
  3. The UN Convention against Corruption is ratified by more then 165 states (20. December 2012) with more then 6,6 billion inhabitants, but not by Germany. 
  4. Germany did not ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and does not follow Recommendation Rec(2003)4 on common rules against corruption in the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns of the Council of Europe as GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) suggested 4 December 2009.
  5. Germany is the only state in Europe which has not ratified any of these to conventions against corruption.
  6. [Germany screwed up Open Data: GovData.de is not really open.]
Wie erreicht man in Skandinavien kostenlose und rasche Antworten für Informationszugang? Point 5 of the UPR report of the "Forum Menschenrechte" suggests to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption. This was also mentioned in the hearing 05. December 2012. The "Forum Menschenrechte criticizes thast the draft is not honest.

Access to documents of public administration is a human right according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [1, 4, 5] and jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) [6] on the basis of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR) [2] and is seen as a precondition for democracy and important in the fight of corruption. OSCE supports access to information.

UN, OSCE and AOS confirm in their Joint Declaration by the Three Special Mandates for Protecting Freedom of Expression 6. December 2004, that Access to Information is a human right (Appendix 3):

"The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right which should be given effect at the national level through comprehensive legislation (for example Freedom of Information Acts) based on the principle of maximum disclosure, establishing a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions."

OSCE has in April 2012 commented the draft of the Transparency- and Access to Information Law in Spain. The human rights character was shown according to OSCE, CCPR and ECHR. (7: "International documents (...) state that access to information is a fundamental human right and an essential condition for all democratic societies.")

Access to Information has been subject to the UPR process. There are 269 hits (Accessed January 2013) on "Access to Information" in the UPR-Info.org database e. g. freedom of information laws are mentioned for  Canada, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kenya, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, and the REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI (submitted by ARTICLE 19).

Authorities in Germany have been informed about these facts and asked for implementation in Germany:

  1. Federal Government (Zukunftsdialog, Direkt zur Kanzlerin und Open Government Online Konsultation )
  2. Parliamentary Parties in federation and federal states with Parliamenwatch (B), especially party CDU (C) and CSU.
  3. Parliaments in federation and federal states with petitions (D)
  4. Experts evaluating access to information laws (E)
  5. Akteneinsichtsanträge bei Verwaltungen (F) u. a. Stuttgart 21
  6. Courts (Admninistative Courts, Constitutional Court) (G) cases Keim ./. Germany (and VG München Keim ./. Bavaria). The human right of access to information was the subject of these cases.

Unfortunately only opposition parties are positive, governments refuse the human right of access to information.

I hope the state report gives an answer.

Sincerely

--
--
Walter Keim
Netizen: http://walter.keim.googlepages.com
UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR):
http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-upr-de.htm
Will OSCE Support the Human Right of Access to Information
in Germany by Commenting ATI Laws: http://t.co/GmQy9V0U
Is it possible to enforce access to information in Bavaria?
http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/enforce_access_to_information.html

Sources:
  1. Access to information is a human right according to UN: http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-0
  2. Access to information in European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR): http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-4
  3. 21. December 2004: Joint Declaration by the Three Special Mandates for Protecting Freedom of Expression UN, OSCE and OAS:  http://merlin.obs.coe.int/iris/2005/2/article1
  4. "General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the ICCPR" (Zivilpakt): http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/comments.htm
  5. UN Human Rights Committee decisions: http://right2info.org/cases#section-6
  6. The European Court of Human Rights cases Article 10 of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): http://right2info.org/cases#section-2
  7. OSCE, April 2012: COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT LAW ON TRANSPARENCY, ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE OF SPAIN: http://www.osce.org/fom/89577
  8. There are 269 hits (Accessed January 2013) on "Access to Information" in the UPR-Info.org database e. g. Canada, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kenya, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, and the REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI (submitted by ARTICLE 19). Austria recommended to Bahrain (A/HRC/WG.6/13/L.4): "Enact a progressive, substantive Freedom of Information law". Djibouti and Ghana got same suggestion.

References:

  1. Who will support transparency in Germany?: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/foi-ngo.htm
  2. 15. February 2012: Questions with help of parliamentwatch: Will political parties strengthen transparency and anti-corruption? http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/120215questions.html
  3. CDU ist das trojanisches Pferd der Bürokratie im Parlament: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/120709bt.html
  4. Petitionen: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petitionen-if.htm
  5. Wie wissenschaftlich ist die Rechtswissenschaft: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/120617foev.htm
  6. Anträge auf Akteneinsicht: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/fg-material.htm#akteneinsicht
  7. Rechtssachen: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/fg-material.htm#rechtsprechung

Development:

Result:



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