Access to Public Information in Argentina with particular reference to Personal and Institutional Data Protection

Lucía Bellochio

Résumé

[extract] Right of access to public information (hereinafter, RAPI) appears as a precondition for the full exercise of the right to freedom of expression, due to the fact that it is a right particularly important for the consolidation, working, and conservation of democratic regimes.

On the one hand, RAPI is an essential requirement to guarantee transparency and an effective management of public affairs. On the other hand, free access to information is a means for citizens to exercise in an appropriate manner their political rights, in a representative and participatory democratic system.

Unlike other countries where it appears as an essential right, in the Argentine Republic, it is considered a Human Right protected by our National Constitution and by International Human Rights Treaties with constitutional status that has developed during the last decade. But this was not always like that: until 1994 constitutional amendment, it was only implied. With this amendment, although the right is not included in our legal system as a law establishing the Argentine Government’s obligation to provide information to citizens, the Government’s obligation to facilitate the access to public information in particular cases is specifically established, in addition to the already mentioned Human Rights Instruments included in the Constitution. The right is implied in the National Constitution, but it is clearly stated in specific cases.

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