On April 22, 2017, the Constitutional Commission voted on and approved the draft text of constitutional amendments. The draft constitution includes some positive changes, but also a number of significant shortcomings.
On February 23-24, 2017, at an international conference held in Berlin, the European Freedom of Information (FOI) Commissioners and Ombudspersons signed a joint resolution calling on governments in Europe to protect freedom of information and strengthen the role of information commissioners and ombudspersons in their states.
The academic paper prepared by the Director of the Center for law and Democracy (Canada), Toby Mendel discusses the ways of balancing the interests of freedom of information and privacy. The document is based on the challenges faced by Georgia in regards with access to court decisions, which has become subject of active international discussion as a result of the activities conducted by IDFI. With the aim of addressing existing challenges the paper presents the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
The US Department of State published the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016. The reports are based on data provided by US Embassies, as well as International Missions and reviews the human rights situation in 200 countries, including Georgia.
The Supreme Court of Georgia declared the appeal of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MOESD) against the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) inadmissible.
IDFI prepared the recommendations to be included in the Constitution of Georgia. The recommendations refer to the three main topics: 1. Adding the guiding principle of Good Governance in Article 5 of the Constitution. 2. Integrating the definition of freedom of internet in Article 24 of the Constitution; and 3. New formulation of Article 41 of the Constitution and the right on ‘good administration’; the obligation to regulate topics of access to information by an Organic Law.
On January 31st, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia held that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and 11 legal entities of public law (LEPL) operating within its system violated the right of N(N)LE Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). According to the Public Defender, the state entities failed to fulfil their legal obligation to disclose public information.
During the event IDFI presented the results of a research conducted within the framework of the project and get the audience acquainted with amendments to the legislation regulating access to court decisions.
IDFI’s report on the access to court decisions in Georgia is based on the legal analysis of existing problems and information obtained through freedom of information requests.