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Congress ratifies constitutional reform establishing principle of "habeas data"

(PROBIDAD/IFEX) - The following is an abridged version of an 18 March 2005 PROBIDAD statement:

The Honduran legislative chamber has ratified a reform to Article 182 of the Constitution, establishing the principle of "habeas data". The measure was announced in the February 2005 edition of the government gazette.

The change to the Constitution establishes the right of all individuals to access information concerning themselves or their property, whether that information is contained in private or public records.

Only the person to whom the information pertains can submit a habeas data request. The Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber is tasked with ensuring that the rights to privacy and safeguarding one's honour are not violated.

The legislature first approved changes to the Constitution, establishing the habeas data principle in January 2004. The measure could not take effect, however, until the legislature approved it on second reading, in accordance with the Constitution.

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