Internationalizing the right to know: conceptualizations of access to information in human rights law Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Bishop, Cheryl Ann
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • Currently there exists a global movement promoting institutional transparency and freedom of information legislation. Conceptualizing access to government-held information as a human right is one of the latest developments in this global trend promoting access to information. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify and analyze the various conceptualizations being used to promote access to government information as a human right. This dissertation also assesses the strength and weaknesses of each conceptualization and assesses which conceptualization holds the greatest promise for ensuring the broadest right of access to information. Conceptualizations were identified by examining international human rights law (particularly human rights treaties), normative arguments of international inter-governmental organizations (particularly the United Nations), and nongovernmental organizations. Four conceptualizations were identified: the freedom-of-expression conceptualization, which bases a right to information on the right to freedom of expression; the information-privacy conceptualization, which bases a right to information on the right to privacy; the right-to-a-healthy environment conceptualization, which links information rights to a right to a healthy environment; and the right-to-truth conceptualization, which bases a right to information on individual and societal rights to know about serious human rights abuses.
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  • Packer, Cathy Lee
  • Open access

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