Denmark

Name of law: The Danish Access to Public Administrative Documents Act

First adopted: 1970

Last modified: n/a

RTI Rating last updated: n/a

Introduction

The Danish legal framework for the right to information is very weak, in the bottom one-fifth of all of the laws globally. The process is plagued with ambiguity, as a number of the procedural steps are left undefined. The law only applies to administrative documents, which are subject to a broad exception that prohibits the disclosure of information where “secrecy is required because of the special nature of the matter". Secrecy laws are preserved, several exceptions do not include a harm test and there is no public interest override for any of the exceptions. Other weaknesses include a complete lack of sanctions or protections for good faith disclosures and Denmark is only of only a handful of countries that gets no points at all for promotional measures. More positively, Denmark has a good system of appeals, allowing both internal complaints and external appeals through a national ombudsman. This office has procedural and independence-based safeguards in place to ensure fair decision-making.

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