Ukrainian NGOs directed their efforts to reduce financial barriers when filing lawsuits for access to public information.
This is stated in the Memorandum, signed by the Institute of Mass Information, Centre UA, the Regional Press Development Institute, the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, Human Rights Platform, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, and Freedom House Ukraine.
The increase in court fees for individuals (currently it is 640 UAH) and for legal entities (currently it is 1600 UAH), when filing an administrative claim, became a significant barrier to civil activists and journalists, who are trying to defend their right to public information in court. The high cost of compulsory enforcement proceedings in cases on access where the debtor is a legal entity (6400 UAH) complicates the problem even more.
It is said in a memorandum: “It is important also that civil activists and journalists, when filing claims of violation of the Law “On Access to Public Information”, protect not only their personal right but also provide the right to receive and transfer information without the interference of authorities freely.”
The law “On access to public information” was and should remain an effective tool in journalism and civil activities – according to the Memorandum’s initiators.
This Memorandum is open for signing by other NGOs.
We recall that the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information” defines the procedure to exercise and to ensure the right of access to public information, which is in possession of government agencies and other owners. The size of court fee when filing an administrative claim concerning the violation of this Law was increased according to the amendments to the Law “On Court Fee”, adopted in September 2015. The situation gets even more complicated, because of the requirements of the Law of Ukraine “On Execution Procedure” (paragraph 1, part 2 of Article 26) concerning the payment of advance deposit for the beginning of the procedure of forced execution of court decision.