Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Worthy on Freedom of Information in Europe: Creation, Context, and Conflict

Ben Worthy, University of London, Birkbeck College, is publishing Freedom of Information in Europe: Creation, Context and Conflict in Contested Trade-Offs: Transparency and Secrecy in European Democracies (forthcoming)

This paper takes an overview of the development and implementation of Access to Information laws across Europe. It argues that laws are shaped (and re-shaped) by their creation, context and the resulting conflict. It begins by examining the link between the passage of the legislation and the differences in their implementation. While there are common features and trends in ATI laws, they differ by the type of political systems, legacies of open or secret cultures, and the strength of political support or opposition. The paper ends by looking at how contestation and conflict continue to shape Europe’s ATI laws. Regimes go through phases of ‘expansion’ or ‘dismantling’ over time and systems are now increasingly shaped by the wider ‘ecology’ of openness in which they are placed (Knill 2012: Kreimer 2017).

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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