Freedom of Information
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission welcomes the publication of the
Draft Freedom of Information Bill as a step towards achieving greater openness in
government and a more participatory democracy. The Commission believes that
effective access to government-held information and the ability to participate in the
democratic process are essential for the full realisation of the fundamental rights of
The Commission also commends the government for first publishing the Bill in draft
form to encourage greater public participation in the legislative process, and hopes
that this will be a practice that will be consistently used in drafting legislation on
matters of public concern.
The Commission is, however, greatly concerned about the content of the Draft Bill,
and in particular about the government’s departure from its position in the White
Paper on freedom of information.