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Supreme Court orders disclosure of information requested by IJC

(IJC/IFEX) - On September 30, 2009, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and upheld the decision of the Chisinau Court of Appeal to compel the Ministry to provide a copy of the advisory opinion to the Decision of the Government no. 753 of June 23, 2008.

In the context of amendments to the Law on Editorial Activity and the adoption of the Regulation on the Assessment, Selection and Publication of Textbooks for Pre-university Education in 2008, the IJC asked the Ministry of Economy and Commerce for a copy of its advisory opinion to the draft decision of the Government on the adoption of the above mentioned Regulation. IJC's access to information request was refused by the Ministry, which argued that once the Regulation had been adopted and enforced, prior advisory opinions were not relevant to the public interest.

The Supreme Court ruled that the refusal of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to provide information is unfounded and illegal since official information held by public authority bodies should be provided to the public, irrespective of its provenance, unless otherwise provided by the law.

The court case was carried out in the framework of the project "Improving the media law environment in Moldova", supported by the Swedish organisation Civil Rights Defenders.

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