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The Right to Information Act 2005A Handbook$
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Sudhir Naib

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198067474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067474.001.0001

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Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

A Global Perspective

(p.1) 1 Freedom of Information
The Right to Information Act 2005

Sudhir Naib

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the development, the growth, and the present trend in the freedom of information (FOI) movement and the general applicability of this doctrine within a global context. It begins by looking at the historical evolution of FOI, starting from the 1766 Swedish Freedom of the Press Act. It shows a notable increase in realising of the importance of information access, not only as a human right, but also as an important right for the promotion of good governance and the fight against corruption. The discussion shows that no less than 70 countries have implemented the Freedom of Information Act. The chapter also looks at the efforts of various international bodies for the implementation of FOI laws. A comparative study of FOI in five countries — India, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and South Africa — is included.

Keywords:   freedom of information, historical evolution, Swedish Freedom of the Press Act, information access, Freedom of Information Act, FOI laws

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