By Donald C. Rowat
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Additional info for Administrative Secrecy in Developed Countries
But the difference is that neither he nor his superiors may make the final decision as to its secrecy. It must fall in the category of matters which are listed as secret according to law, and if a reporter or a private Citizen disputes the classification he may appeal to an independent authority for a decision on whether the document should be released. In the Scandinavian countries there is more than one such authority to which an appeal can be made. In Finland and Sweden the appeal can be taken to the Supreme Administrative Court, to the Ombudsmen, or to the Chancellor ofjustice, while in Denmark and Norway it can be taken to the ordinary courts or the 12 Administrative Secrecy in Developed Countries Ombudsman.
GENERAL RIGHTS OF PUBLIC ACCESS THE GENERAL SITUATION The Principle of Public Access The principle of public access, as laid down in chapter 2 of the Freedom of the Press Act, means that every Swedish citizen has free access to official documents. The term 'Swedish citizen' denotes not only natural persons enjoying Swedish citizenship but also Swedish legal persons under civil law. 6 Also, as will be set forth in some detail below, foreigners are for all practical purposes on a par with Swedish citizens (ch.
Moreover, they may not communicate to unauthorised persons any information obtained as part of their work, and which may produce disadvantages for the organ or some other person. On the other hand, wherever a legal norm declares that information may be given, the staff of the organ must supply it. The only guidance they get is the rule stating that they must carry out their duties in accordance with the appropriate rules and regulations and the instructions of superior officers. This leads to the conclusion that a general right to information is not Comparative Survry the same thing as a specific right of public access to documents.
Administrative Secrecy in Developed Countries by Donald C. Rowat