Tomorrow is “World Press Freedom Day”. The 3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and each year the celebration of the day has a different theme. This year UNESCO’s celebration of this day will highlight the importance of freedom of information as an integral part of freedom of expression and its contribution to democratic governance. The day has its own Facebook page and Twitter feed. There is a short post on the UK Freedom of Information blog.
An International Conference on Freedom of Information is being held on 2 and 3 May 2010 in Brisbane, Australia, hosted by the University of Queensland. The Conference Programme is here. The UNESCO website has interesting discussions of “Freedom of information: current status, challenges and implications for news media” and “Freedom of information as a tool for empowerment: Enabling protection and achievement of other rights”
Here the Secretary General of Unesco, Irina Bokova, explains the importance of the right to know
It has been recognised for some time that this is a right which is protected by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It has recently been recognised as being an aspect of the Article 10 right to freedom of expression (last year in the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union case Tarsasag a Szabadsagjogokert v Hungary) and even more recently by the English Courts (this year in A v Independent News & Media Limited & Ors  EWCA 343, discussed on this blog by Dan Tench). Freedom of information as a facet of freedom of expression is likely to become more important in both European and domestic law over the next few years.