Freedom of Information Judgments Database

What problem are you solving?:

Hungarian citizens exhibit a low level of demand for transparency in public power. It is mostly NGOs that avail themselves of disclosure requests and strategic litigation. The outcome is often frustrating, partly because many of the NGOs and lawyers who do file suit lack the experience required for pleading a freedom of information case successfully. Sentencing in this area is itself non-transparent, with judgments remaining virtually inaccessible. To make things worse, the courts tend to construe and apply the relevant provisions in ways incompatible with the true meaning of freedom of information.

Describe your idea:

We propose to improve the transparency of sentencing in non-disclosure cases by collecting judgments passed by various courts in Hungary. The judgments will be ordered, annotated, evaluated, and published in an online database that is accessible for anyone free of charge, convenient to use for civilians and professionals, and upgradeable on an ongoing basis.

The project will enhance transparency and effective monitoring of public power by providing a deep insight into freedom of information sentencing practices. Plaintiffs will be able to rely on precedents in the compendium as part of their litigation tactics. The project will help standardize and improve sentencing practices, ultimately strengthening social control over public power and the administration of justice.

What country will this operate in?: Hungary

Who are you?:

The Eötvös Károly Institute was created in January 2003 in order to establish a novel, unconventional institutional framework for shaping democratic public affairs in Hungary. Acting hand in hand with other entities, including advocacy groups, watchdog organizations, and other institutions, the Eötvös Károly Institute wishes to contribute to raising professional and general public awareness and to shaping the political agenda in issues with an impact on the quality of relations between citizens and public power. The Institute is deeply committed to the liberal interpretation of constitutionality, constitutional democracy, and individual rights, and labors to support initiatives instrumental in bringing about a civil political culture inspired by the spirit of solidarity.

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