Instructional Materials

This publication contains a peer-reviewed scientific and practical commentary on the Law of Ukraine "On Access to Public Information", which was adopted on January 13 and entered into force on May 9, 2011. This Comment was initiated by the Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which, under the Law "On Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine", has the right within its competence to "provide explanations regarding the application of the provisions of the laws of Ukraine".

The text of the Commentary was prepared by authoritative media lawyers who were part of the working group on the preparation of the Law "On Access to Public Information" and the new edition of the Law "On Information" - Roman Holovenko, Dmitro Kotliar, Oksana Nesterenko and Taras Shevchenko.  Roman Kuibida provided assistance in preparing the commentary on articles 13 and 23.

The commentaries reveal the terms used in the Law, explain in detail the content of its provisions, and give examples and recommendations for its application. In cases where necessary, the authors explain the mechanism of application of the rules of the Law in conjunction with other laws of Ukraine — in particular, with the new wording of the Law "On Information", which was adopted and entered into force in synchrony with the Law "On Access to Public Information". In order to understand the Law in the light of international standards, the Comments used the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, and other documents. The preparation of the comment also took into account the first administrative and judicial practice of applying the law after the entry into force of the law.

In interpreting the provisions of the law, especially controversial ones, the authors proceeded from his main principles — the provision of the right to access information, the presumption of openness of public information, comprehensive simplification of information.

The comment is designed for the widest range of readers, but above all for those, who use the law in their daily practice — civil servants, local self-government officials, judges, journalists, civil activists.