The revised Draft Law No 31.13 on the Right of Access to Information represents a serious setback in the progress towards the recognition of the right to information in the Kingdom of Morocco. As it is, the current draft of the bill would be ineffective in ensuring that all persons in Morocco would have a right to information as guaranteed by Article 27 of the Constitution and may even be counter-productive in ensuring that the public has access to information. The purpose of the law appears to ensure secrecy rather than the promotion of openness and transparency.
Furthermore, the provisions on the criminalisation of information releases and use represent a serious threat to freedom of expression which violate international law, and do not belong in a right to information law.
The bill has such a multitude of problems that in its current draft it should be rejected and the previous version should be reintroduced for consideration by the Parliament.
Recommendations (in brief):
- Remove the requirement in Article 14 that all persons must show a direct interest before they are able to demand information;
- State in Article 3 that all persons, natural and legal, have a right of access to information;
- Delete Articles 26, 27 and 28, which provide for criminal sanctions for requestors and reuse;
- Create an independent information commission;
- Clarify and limit exemptions, and include harm and public interest tests for all exemptions;
- Reinstate sanctions on all officials;
- Delete Article 25 and include protections for the release of information in good faith by public officials;
- Ensure that all information held by public bodies is subject to the law under Article 2;
- Ensure that all information can be freely reused.
Download the full Legal Analysis on Morocco Draft Law No. 31.13 on RTI here.
You can access a translation into English of Morocco Draft Law No. 31.13.