HKJA launches petition in response to Access to Information consultations

Following the launch of the public consultation by the Law Reform Commission (LRC) of Hong Kong into access to information legislation, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has launched a petition with several recommendations for any new legislation. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins HKJA in calling on the Hong Kong Government to ensure all key stakeholders are engaged in public consultations and recommendations included in any future legislation.

Credit: HKJA

On December 6, 2018 the LRC launched a three month public consultation into how the public gains access to information held by the Hong Kong government, as well as the current public records managements, and recommend legislation be introduced to replace current administrative codes and manual.

In December, HKJA expressed concerns that the consultation papers “were nothing but a tactic to further delay the introduction of two legislations that are crucial to the monitoring of public servants.”  

HKJA has launched an online petition calling on the government to ensure any access to information legislation is robust and represents the needs of Hong Kong society. The petition also lists several recommendations. The two key principles of any access to information legislation HKJA has identified are:

- Principle 1 – Access to Information is a constitutional right to be exercised on a fair and equal basis. It must not be compromised for costs.

- Principle 2 – Access to information must be guided by the principle of maximum disclosure, which is presumed unless rebutted by any legitimate reason under the law.

The IFJ said: “Access to Information legislation is critical to ensure that the people of Hong Kong can freely access key information that also supports good governance and transparency. We stand in solidarity with HKJA and our colleagues in Hong Kong to demand the Government guarantee that Access to Information is well-protected in any future legislation or regulations. The Hong Kong Government should also work to review its consultation process to ensure transparency, and key stakeholders are engaged.”  

Sign the petition here.  

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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