The Swiss Cheese Rule
On June 3, IIFD experts assisted by the Regional Press Institute held in St.-Petersburg a seminar on access to official information. The event attracted interest of not only media but also lawyers, state officials, and researchers.
Today, the legislative basis for information access right in RUssia is rather sound. Most problems with its practical implementation arise because citizens who the laws are issued for have not enough will to use them. The IIFD’s court practice shows that very few active people are ready to protect their right to information in court.
As for “the Swiss cheese rule”, Darya Nazarova, IIFD senior lawyer, mentioned it speaking that information should be disseminated openly and freely. She pointed: even in data categories of restricted access there are socially significant “holes” that should be available for the public without any limitations, – though officials may prefer “cheese” stored behind locks and having no holes.
The discussion that arose at the end of the event allow to conclude: many people begin to consider right to information as a primary fundamental human right, more important than many other rights except of course the right to life.