Ukrainian CSOs will direct their efforts to reduce the financial barriers to filing lawsuits in cases of access to public information.
This is stated in Memorandum, which was signed by the Institute of Mass Information, Center UA, the Regional Press Development Institute, the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, the Platform of Human Rights, the Kharkiv human rights group, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the Office of the American Human rights organization “Freedom House in Ukraine”.
An increase in the level of court fees for individuals (currently it is 640 UAH) and for legal entities (currently this is 1 600 UAH) became a significant barrier to social activists and journalists who are trying to defend their right to public information in court. Further complicating this task is the high cost of opening a coercive enforcement proceedings in cases of access where the debtor/administrator is a legal entity (6 400 UAH).
"It is important that social activists and journalists, addressing the claims for violation of Law "On access to public information", protect not only their personal rights but also provide everyone the right to freely receive and impart information without interference by public authorities", said in the Memorandum.
“The Law “On access to public information” was and should remain an effective tool in journalistic and public activity”, noted the initiators.
The Memorandum is open for signing to other CSOs.
The Law of Ukraine "On access to public information" determines the order of implementation and ensures the right of everyone to access to information of public interest, which is in the possession of public authorities and other managers. The amount of court fee for submission of an administrative claim for breach of this Law was increased by the amendments to Law "On court fee" in September 2015. The situation was complicated even more through the new requirements of the Law "On enforcement proceedings" regarding the advance payment to start the procedure of compulsory execution of judicial decisions (paragraph 1 h. 2 of article 26) in December 2016.
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