States should adopt specific and comprehensive legislation on access to information, guided by the principles specified in international law, in particular:

a)  Access to information should be guided by the principle of maximum disclosure. Laws which are inconsistent with the principle of maximum disclosure should be amended or repealed;

b)  Public bodies should be under an obligation to proactively publish key information;

c)  Public bodies should actively promote open government in all matters;

d)  Exceptions to the right to freedom of information should be clearly and precisely worded and subject to strict ‘harm’ and ‘public interest’ tests. This means that any refusal to disclose information must relate to limited legitimate aims; disclosure must threaten to cause substantial harm to that aim; and the harm to the aim must be greater than the public interest in releasing the information;

e)  Requests for information should be processed rapidly and fairly and an independent review of any refusals should be available;

f)  Individuals and organisations should not be deterred from making requests for information by costs;

g)  Meetings of public bodies should be open to the public;

h)  Individuals who release information on wrongdoing and who disseminate information about wrongdoing should be protected.