IFJ & CLD show their concerns for Right to Information Law in Kurdistan Region

28.01.2014 – BasNews, Erbil – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) have published a list of concerns regarding the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) recent implementation of the ‘Right to Access Information Law’.While both organizations have acknowledged the KRG’s “relative progress” and their garnering of 98 points on the RTI Rating, they have also expressed a list of concerns regarding the state of the media in the region.

‘It is very welcome that the Kurdistan Region has adopted this law, joining other democracies by putting in place a system for ensuring transparency in government. While the Law is strong, there are a number of areas where it could still be improved,’ said Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy. Areas for improvement are the following: the procedures for processing requests for information are too brief and overview in nature; not all exceptions are harm tested and there is no procedure for consulting with third parties; there are no sanctions for obstruction of access or protection for good faith disclosures pursuant to the law and the Law fails to create a dedicated oversight body for information appeals (such as an information commission), instead allocating this task to the existing Human Rights Commission in Kurdistan Region.

The note on the Right to Access Information Law is an extensive analysis of the law itself, based on international standards, and a series of suggestions that look at how the law can be improved