[This article was updated on July 22, 2010 to correct the spelling of Ana Natsvlishvili's last name.]
A new amendment to Georgia’s freedom of information law is introducing strict limits on “third-party” access to information about cases involving the Georgian government in international courts. Civil society watchdogs term the change a setback for the country’s democratic development. The amendment’s sponsor, however, contends that the change reflects international standards.
Prior to the amendment, Georgian law stipulated that all information in administrative cases remain public; exceptions to the freedom of information (FIO) law included commercial and professional secrets, criminal cases and covert operations.
The amendment, passed on July 21, will require journalists, human rights activists and others not directly involved in an international court case to apply to a Georgian court for the release of any details about the case. The fact that the case itself had been filed in an international court would remain accessible.
To read the full story
Molly Corso is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.