(2003), "Århus right-to-information law takes effect", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 4 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2003.24904cab.002Download as .RIS
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Århus right-to-information law takes effect
An EU directive increasing the public’s rights of access to environmental information came into force in February when the law was published in the block’s official journal. The directive replaces a predecessor law dating from 1990 It is one of three pieces of EU legislation that have been introduced to implement the UN’s 1998 Århus convention on greater public involvement in environmental decision making.
By making disclosure of information “the general rule”, the directive places the onus firmly on public authorities to make environmental information available to the public in the widest possible way, emphasising the role of information technology. Where a member of the public requests specific information, this must be supplied within one month – at the most two where the details sought are extensive and complex.
While authorities are permitted to make a charge for supplying information, this is intended primarily to cover administration costs associated with collating information. A pricing schedule must be published, listing any circumstances when fees should be waived.
Member states are required to transpose the directive into national law by 14 February 2005 They must report on progress in its application four years later.