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A list of FOI cases (judicial review) reported by mainland media in 2008-2009

2010/03/29 1 comment
Governments and their administrative agencies at all levels are to publish by the end of this month their 2009 Annual Reports on the work of Open Government Information (Chinese-style FOI). However, for a more objective and comprehensive assessment of how well the government satisfy the citizens’ rights to information, as well as how effective are the courts at all levels in protecting the right to know under the existing legal framework, in addition to the government reports, more attention should be paid to the FOI suits adjudicated in various regions. Since China has not established an authoritative case report system, there have been great difficulties in collecting cases. Hence I have been collecting over the past two years FOI cases reported by mainland newspapers and news magazines [source here]. The following is a list of the FOI cases reported from the implementation of the OGI Regulation until the the end of 2009. The list is currently only in Chinese. Please refer to my Chinese blog.

不被受理的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.06]律师李刚诉上海市政府不公开政府官员公费上EMBA信息(不予受理)
  2. [2009.05]宁波村民诉鄞州国土分局不如实公开调查非法占用土地结果信息(一审败诉)
  3. [2009.05]律师严义明诉国家发改委不公开四万亿经济刺激计划详细信息(不受理)
  4. [2009.02]律师孙农诉珠海市环保局不公开废旧电池回收处理相关信息(二审裁定驳回起诉)
  5. [2009.05]市民孔某诉上海市虹口区房管局不公开拆迁补偿结果(不受理)
  6. [2009.02]市民孔某诉上海市市政工程管理处不公开拆迁补偿结果(驳回起诉)
  7. [2008.08] 市民张积年诉建设部不公开经租房文件(逾期未获受理)
  8. [2008.07]市民陈育华诉北京市公安局要求公开养犬管理费用信息案(不受理)
  9. [2008.07]市民朱福祥诉国家审计署不公开北京市土地净收益违规使用情况等信息(逾期未获受理)
  10. [2008.06]律师李刚诉审计署不公开18省市收费公路建设运营管理审计调查详细内容
  11. [2008.06]法律学者郝劲松诉请陕西省林业局公开”华南虎照”鉴定信息(不受理)
  12. [2008.06]市民徐某诉安徽省安庆市枞阳县公路运输管理所不公开颁发机动车驾驶培训学校许可的相关材料(不予受理)
  13. [2008.06]市民朱福祥、湛江诉北京市海淀区四季青镇政府不公开用地规划及人口数等信息(不予受理)
  14. [2008]高立英诉海淀区四季青镇政府不公开该镇下属柴家坟村南占地单位、建设项目的名称以及土地转让的方式
  15. [2008.06]村民张建秋邓六人诉茶陵县财政局不公开专门资金账户中向平水镇毛坪村下拨救济款物的具体数额(逾期未获受理)
  16. [2008.06] 倪洪涛等6名法学博士诉湘潭市政府不公开市内四座大桥收费信息
  17. [2008.05]市民黄由俭等诉湖南汝城县政府不公开县自来水公司改制信息案(逾期未获受理)

生效的经实体审理的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009]村民诉江苏省宿迁市泗阳县政府不公开土地征收公告及安置补偿公告(败诉)
  2. [2009.11]市民夏楚辉诉佛山市物价局不公开公交票价收费批准文件(败诉)
  3. [2009.10]农民黄建新诉苏州市环保局不公开张家港合兴污水厂的《环境影响报告书》(撤诉,但疑所获资料为假)
  4. [2009.07] 市民周某诉武汉市新洲区某局不答复养老保险金等信息公开申请(胜诉)
  5. [2009.07]村民张某诉山东省广饶县广饶镇不公开两村拆迁安置方案和补偿款分配情况(胜诉)
  6. [2009.07]市民孔某诉上海市建交委不公开拆迁补偿结果(败诉)
  7. [2009.06] 市民王清同时诉南阳市34个行政机关不公开“三公”信息(胜诉)
  8. [2009.06]“职业打假人”徐大江诉广州市工商局不公开行政处罚信息(二审败诉)
  9. [2009.05]市民李栋诉沈阳市规划和国土资源局不公开建设用地规划许可证制作的正确时间(二审胜诉)
  10. [2009.05] 綦江县林业综合开发有限公司诉綦江县国土资源和房屋管理局不公开原告所述林地周边土地的建设规划和征地信息(胜诉)
  11. [2009.03] 退休市民李某诉重庆市人保局不公开工龄计算相关政策文件(胜诉)
  12. [2009.03] 市民马某诉孝感市云梦县国土局不公开土地登记程序和收费标准(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  13. [2009.03]市民屈松峰诉郑州市物价局不公开经济适用房价格核算信息(二审败诉)
  14. [2009.03]市民孔某诉上海市虹口区房管局不公开拆迁补偿结果(败诉)
  15. [2009.03]村民李某诉昌平区北七家镇政府不公开拆迁补偿协议、拆迁法律依据和补偿标准(二审部分胜诉)
  16. [2009.02]农民王某诉保定市国土资源局不公开养猪场的土地占有性质信息(胜诉)
  17. [2009.02]村民小组诉株洲市攸县国土局不公开土地使用权证(败诉)
  18. [2009]市民赵某诉上海市规划和国土资源管理局不公开《建设用地规划许可证》原件复印件(二审败诉)
  19. [2009]律师赵旭峰诉温州市平阳县公安局不公开道路交通限速标志决策信息(二审败诉)
  20. [2009]XX诉上海市环保局不公开宝钢集团噪声和粉尘污染环境影响评价报告书
  21. [2008.12]市民刘阳诉沈阳市铁西新区政府不答复信息公开申请(胜诉)
  22. [2008.10]退休职工吴启群等诉杭州市政府不公开信访纪要(胜诉)
  23. [2008.10]赵正军诉郑州市物价局不公开郑州市热力总公司近三年的经营状况(胜诉)
  24. [2008.09] 村民谷焕斌等诉鹿泉市铜冶镇政府不公开土地规划及宅基地使用审核信息(胜诉,但被告拒不履行判决)
  25. [2008.09]市民杨某诉四川省广安市广安区国税局不公开送达征税定额通知单信息(二审败诉)
  26. [2008.08]市民赵正军诉中原区工商局不公开2007年以来行政处罚决定书(胜诉)
  27. [2008.08]农民刘天岭诉郑州市金山区政府拒绝公开拆迁安置补偿信息(二审败诉)
  28. [2008.08] 市民王清诉南阳市房管局、国土局、规划局和建委不公开楼盘登记备案信息(胜诉)
  29. [2008.07]高考考生诉河南省招生办不公开高考试卷信息(胜诉)
  30. [2008.07]市民乔某诉深圳市司法局未公开应其请求调查公证机关不当行政的结果(败诉)
  31. [2008.07]农民谢某诉许昌市发改委不公开生猪养殖信息(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  32. [2008.06]村民周某诉如皋市建设局不公开拆迁许可证(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  33. [2008.06]律师徐建国诉黄州区交通局要求公开摩托车养路费信息案(胜诉)
  34. [2008.05]市民李某诉江苏泰州市某镇政府不公开处置资产的批复文件(胜诉)
  35. [2008.04]律师王某诉河北省产权交易中心不公开涉案公司产权交易情况(胜诉)
  36. [2008]狮头染料公司诉上海市科委不公开有关“上海市高新技术企业”的认定程序及相关材料(胜诉)
  37. [2008]市民孙某诉重庆市建委不公开某房地产公司缴纳的某建设项目配套费详细情况(二审败诉)
  38. [2008]市民诉辽宁省凌源市某街道办事处不公开申请人的低保信息(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)

上诉进行中的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.07]王翠棉诉石家庄市工商局不公开公司登记档案资料(一审部分胜诉)
  2. [2009.06]佛山拆迁户诉禅城区国土局不公开被拆迁土地的使用权出让底价的计算依据、方法和原始数据(一审败诉)
  3. [2008.07]律师袁裕来诉安徽省政府要求公开行政复议所涉及信息案(一审败诉)

被报道但未知结案情况的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.11]市民李某等诉杭州市规划局不公开保护历史建筑及所居建筑规划变动信息
  2. [2009.07]律师刘潇虎诉国家药监局不公开获医疗器械生产许可企业名单、审批程序以及人体对烤瓷牙所含重金属的耐受标准
  3. [2009.07] 市民施仁兴诉上海市松江区住房保障和房屋管理局不公产权资料
  4. [2009.06]律师董正伟诉质检总局不公开对“微软黑屏”投诉的调查处理情况并提供虚假信息
  5. [2009.06]下岗职工刘桂兰诉阜阳市颍泉区人民政府不公开阜阳市酿造厂改制过程中包括土地出让金、职工安置方案、职工住宅拆迁补偿标准等信息
  6. [2009.05]市民张涛诉福建省通信管理局不公开省内各基础电信业务经营者的月租成本
  7. [2009.05]律师刘潇虎诉北京市卫生局不公开关于医院等在为用人单位入职体检中不得检查乙肝表面抗原的相关规定
  8. [2009.05]北京燕运龙客运服务中心诉北京市房山区人民政府燕山办事处不公开所测算的客流量数据以及票款补贴的相关依据
  9. [2009.04]律师李劲松诉北京市司法局不公开“三公”花费情况及行政行为依据
  10. [2009.01]舜华律师事务所诉广州市建设和市政局不公开工程缴费信息
  11. [2008.12]市民刘道户等诉山东省聊城市交通局不公开主观企业的破产清算报告和处置相关资产的审计情况
  12. [2008.12]前长阳土家族自治县地税局职工诉宜昌市夷陵区国土资源局不公开宜昌地税局别墅群地块的土地审批依据、程序、用地性质等信息
  13. [2008.11]市民兰靖远等诉海淀区四季青镇政府要求公开集体土地占用相关信息(不予受理)
  14. [2008.11]市民谢某诉许昌市公路管理局拒绝公开某国道收费站相关信息
  15. [2008.08]村民沈某等诉浙江省桐乡市国土资源局不公开某临时用地批准文件
  16. [2008.07]市民肖均佑诉铁道部不公开T231次列车北京西至保定乘车区间有座票和无座票的具体价格依据
  17. [2008.07]某广告公司诉荆州市户外广告营运管理处不公开城区户外广告的设置权证期限和处置意见
  18. [2008.07]万多名村民诉陕西省彬县城关镇不公开水帘洞煤炭有限公司股权转让信息
  19. [2008.06]市民曹顺礼诉重庆市忠县社会保险局拒绝公开个人退休工资档案
  20. [2008.05]市民金女士诉北京市东城区房管局拒绝公开房产档案
An analysis of the cases can be found in my earlier post (also in Chinese, sorry). For sources and information of the listed cases, please use mycustomized search engines with their sources limited to several kinds of mainland or oversea media. If anybody needs further information  on the comparison and statistical data of the listed cases, please feel free to contact me.
Categories: 1.Legal Review, China

媒体报道的政府信息公开诉讼案件清单(2008-2009)

各级政府向社会公布2009年度政府信息公开年报的最后期限将至,为更客观、全面地评估它们对公民知情权的满足情况,以及各级法院在现有法律框架下对知情权的救济水平,在阅读政府年报之外,更应关注和分析各个地区的政府信息公开诉讼案件。由于我国尚未建立权威、全面的案例公布制度,搜集案例存在众多困难,因此,本博客两年以来一直关注各地报纸和新闻期刊所报道[来源见此]的相关案例。以下列出从《政府信息公开条例》实施至2009年底主要报刊所报道的案例清单。

有关的案例分析可参见稍早的文章,以及对若干案例的重述。2010年以来的案例,将在“案例”专页持续更新。博客备有以各主要报刊为信息源的订制搜索引擎,可查阅案例的出处和内容。若有朋友想进一步获取案例比较、统计数据等详尽信息,欢迎来信索取

不被受理的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.06]律师李刚诉上海市政府不公开政府官员公费上EMBA信息(不予受理)
  2. [2009.05]宁波村民诉鄞州国土分局不如实公开调查非法占用土地结果信息(一审败诉)
  3. [2009.05]律师严义明诉国家发改委不公开四万亿经济刺激计划详细信息(不受理)
  4. [2009.02]律师孙农诉珠海市环保局不公开废旧电池回收处理相关信息(二审裁定驳回起诉)
  5. [2009.05]市民孔某诉上海市虹口区房管局不公开拆迁补偿结果(不受理)
  6. [2009.02]市民孔某诉上海市市政工程管理处不公开拆迁补偿结果(驳回起诉)
  7. [2008.08] 市民张积年诉建设部不公开经租房文件(逾期未获受理)
  8. [2008.07]市民陈育华诉北京市公安局要求公开养犬管理费用信息案(不受理)
  9. [2008.07]市民朱福祥诉国家审计署不公开北京市土地净收益违规使用情况等信息(逾期未获受理)
  10. [2008.06]律师李刚诉审计署不公开18省市收费公路建设运营管理审计调查详细内容
  11. [2008.06]法律学者郝劲松诉请陕西省林业局公开”华南虎照”鉴定信息(不受理)
  12. [2008.06]市民徐某诉安徽省安庆市枞阳县公路运输管理所不公开颁发机动车驾驶培训学校许可的相关材料(不予受理)
  13. [2008.06]市民朱福祥、湛江诉北京市海淀区四季青镇政府不公开用地规划及人口数等信息(不予受理)
  14. [2008]高立英诉海淀区四季青镇政府不公开该镇下属柴家坟村南占地单位、建设项目的名称以及土地转让的方式
  15. [2008.06]村民张建秋邓六人诉茶陵县财政局不公开专门资金账户中向平水镇毛坪村下拨救济款物的具体数额(逾期未获受理)
  16. [2008.06] 倪洪涛等6名法学博士诉湘潭市政府不公开市内四座大桥收费信息
  17. [2008.05]市民黄由俭等诉湖南汝城县政府不公开县自来水公司改制信息案(逾期未获受理)

生效的经实体审理的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009]村民诉江苏省宿迁市泗阳县政府不公开土地征收公告及安置补偿公告(败诉)
  2. [2009.11]市民夏楚辉诉佛山市物价局不公开公交票价收费批准文件(败诉)
  3. [2009.10]农民黄建新诉苏州市环保局不公开张家港合兴污水厂的《环境影响报告书》(撤诉,但疑所获资料为假)
  4. [2009.07] 市民周某诉武汉市新洲区某局不答复养老保险金等信息公开申请(胜诉)
  5. [2009.07]村民张某诉山东省广饶县广饶镇不公开两村拆迁安置方案和补偿款分配情况(胜诉)
  6. [2009.07]市民孔某诉上海市建交委不公开拆迁补偿结果(败诉)
  7. [2009.06] 市民王清同时诉南阳市34个行政机关不公开“三公”信息(胜诉)
  8. [2009.06]“职业打假人”徐大江诉广州市工商局不公开行政处罚信息(二审败诉)
  9. [2009.05]市民李栋诉沈阳市规划和国土资源局不公开建设用地规划许可证制作的正确时间(二审胜诉)
  10. [2009.05] 綦江县林业综合开发有限公司诉綦江县国土资源和房屋管理局不公开原告所述林地周边土地的建设规划和征地信息(胜诉)
  11. [2009.03] 退休市民李某诉重庆市人保局不公开工龄计算相关政策文件(胜诉)
  12. [2009.03] 市民马某诉孝感市云梦县国土局不公开土地登记程序和收费标准(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  13. [2009.03]市民屈松峰诉郑州市物价局不公开经济适用房价格核算信息(二审败诉)
  14. [2009.03]市民孔某诉上海市虹口区房管局不公开拆迁补偿结果(败诉)
  15. [2009.03]村民李某诉昌平区北七家镇政府不公开拆迁补偿协议、拆迁法律依据和补偿标准(二审部分胜诉)
  16. [2009.02]农民王某诉保定市国土资源局不公开养猪场的土地占有性质信息(胜诉)
  17. [2009.02]村民小组诉株洲市攸县国土局不公开土地使用权证(败诉)
  18. [2009]市民赵某诉上海市规划和国土资源管理局不公开《建设用地规划许可证》原件复印件(二审败诉)
  19. [2009]律师赵旭峰诉温州市平阳县公安局不公开道路交通限速标志决策信息(二审败诉)
  20. [2009]XX诉上海市环保局不公开宝钢集团噪声和粉尘污染环境影响评价报告书
  21. [2008.12]市民刘阳诉沈阳市铁西新区政府不答复信息公开申请(胜诉)
  22. [2008.10]退休职工吴启群等诉杭州市政府不公开信访纪要(胜诉)
  23. [2008.10]赵正军诉郑州市物价局不公开郑州市热力总公司近三年的经营状况(胜诉)
  24. [2008.09] 村民谷焕斌等诉鹿泉市铜冶镇政府不公开土地规划及宅基地使用审核信息(胜诉,但被告拒不履行判决)
  25. [2008.09]市民杨某诉四川省广安市广安区国税局不公开送达征税定额通知单信息(二审败诉)
  26. [2008.08]市民赵正军诉中原区工商局不公开2007年以来行政处罚决定书(胜诉)
  27. [2008.08]农民刘天岭诉郑州市金山区政府拒绝公开拆迁安置补偿信息(二审败诉)
  28. [2008.08] 市民王清诉南阳市房管局、国土局、规划局和建委不公开楼盘登记备案信息(胜诉)
  29. [2008.07]高考考生诉河南省招生办不公开高考试卷信息(胜诉)
  30. [2008.07]市民乔某诉深圳市司法局未公开应其请求调查公证机关不当行政的结果(败诉)
  31. [2008.07]农民谢某诉许昌市发改委不公开生猪养殖信息(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  32. [2008.06]村民周某诉如皋市建设局不公开拆迁许可证(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)
  33. [2008.06]律师徐建国诉黄州区交通局要求公开摩托车养路费信息案(胜诉)
  34. [2008.05]市民李某诉江苏泰州市某镇政府不公开处置资产的批复文件(胜诉)
  35. [2008.04]律师王某诉河北省产权交易中心不公开涉案公司产权交易情况(胜诉)
  36. [2008]狮头染料公司诉上海市科委不公开有关“上海市高新技术企业”的认定程序及相关材料(胜诉)
  37. [2008]市民孙某诉重庆市建委不公开某房地产公司缴纳的某建设项目配套费详细情况(二审败诉)
  38. [2008]市民诉辽宁省凌源市某街道办事处不公开申请人的低保信息(被告庭审中提供信息,原告撤诉)

上诉进行中的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.07]王翠棉诉石家庄市工商局不公开公司登记档案资料(一审部分胜诉)
  2. [2009.06]佛山拆迁户诉禅城区国土局不公开被拆迁土地的使用权出让底价的计算依据、方法和原始数据(一审败诉)
  3. [2008.07]律师袁裕来诉安徽省政府要求公开行政复议所涉及信息案(一审败诉)

被报道但未知结案情况的信息公开诉讼

  1. [2009.11]市民李某等诉杭州市规划局不公开保护历史建筑及所居建筑规划变动信息
  2. [2009.07]律师刘潇虎诉国家药监局不公开获医疗器械生产许可企业名单、审批程序以及人体对烤瓷牙所含重金属的耐受标准
  3. [2009.07] 市民施仁兴诉上海市松江区住房保障和房屋管理局不公产权资料
  4. [2009.06]律师董正伟诉质检总局不公开对“微软黑屏”投诉的调查处理情况并提供虚假信息
  5. [2009.06]下岗职工刘桂兰诉阜阳市颍泉区人民政府不公开阜阳市酿造厂改制过程中包括土地出让金、职工安置方案、职工住宅拆迁补偿标准等信息
  6. [2009.05]市民张涛诉福建省通信管理局不公开省内各基础电信业务经营者的月租成本
  7. [2009.05]律师刘潇虎诉北京市卫生局不公开关于医院等在为用人单位入职体检中不得检查乙肝表面抗原的相关规定
  8. [2009.05]北京燕运龙客运服务中心诉北京市房山区人民政府燕山办事处不公开所测算的客流量数据以及票款补贴的相关依据
  9. [2009.04]律师李劲松诉北京市司法局不公开“三公”花费情况及行政行为依据
  10. [2009.01]舜华律师事务所诉广州市建设和市政局不公开工程缴费信息
  11. [2008.12]市民刘道户等诉山东省聊城市交通局不公开主观企业的破产清算报告和处置相关资产的审计情况
  12. [2008.12]前长阳土家族自治县地税局职工诉宜昌市夷陵区国土资源局不公开宜昌地税局别墅群地块的土地审批依据、程序、用地性质等信息
  13. [2008.11]市民兰靖远等诉海淀区四季青镇政府要求公开集体土地占用相关信息(不予受理)
  14. [2008.11]市民谢某诉许昌市公路管理局拒绝公开某国道收费站相关信息
  15. [2008.08]村民沈某等诉浙江省桐乡市国土资源局不公开某临时用地批准文件
  16. [2008.07]市民肖均佑诉铁道部不公开T231次列车北京西至保定乘车区间有座票和无座票的具体价格依据
  17. [2008.07]某广告公司诉荆州市户外广告营运管理处不公开城区户外广告的设置权证期限和处置意见
  18. [2008.07]万多名村民诉陕西省彬县城关镇不公开水帘洞煤炭有限公司股权转让信息
  19. [2008.06]市民曹顺礼诉重庆市忠县社会保险局拒绝公开个人退休工资档案
  20. [2008.05]市民金女士诉北京市东城区房管局拒绝公开房产档案
Categories: Uncategorized

Map of FOI cases and laws added

Technorati Profile

With the help of some Web2.0 service, I’ve made visualized the evolution of FOI law-making in China since 2003. The development of FOI disputes after the FOI Regulation came into effect is also sketched out on a map.

Please refer to the newly added pages “Map of FOI laws” and “Map of FOI cases“.

Categories: China, Map

Curtain rose yet uncertainess remains: FOI Regulation came into force

On 1st May 2008 finally came into force China?s ?Regulation on the disclosure of government information?, after more than 12 months? preparation.

It is a long-awaited and exciting date for most FOI-advocates as well as common people in great need of government information closely related to their vital interest. From this moment on, with the curtain raised and the stage set, the mechanism of transparency operates, bringing the government under public supervision of its determination to keep the promise.

The regulation undoubtedly seeks to reorient a bulky bureaucracy ruling vast territory and huge population to open its information for inspection. The task is no doubt arduous in terms of workload, given the weary history of secretive governance, and complex in terms of organizational transformation, given the rigidness of bureaucratic apparatus. Clear about the difficulty, the General Office of the State Council, the organ legally responsible to oversee the nationwide operation of the regulation, issued pointed directions to local governments emphasizing the establishment of tunnels for information dissemination and organs in charge of implementation. After the ?Notice of Good Preparation for the Implementation of the Regulation [?]? circulated on 4 August 2007, it issued ?Opinions on Issues concerning the application of the Regulation [?]? on 30 April 2008, which implies policy priority and deserves further study.

Since the promulgation of the Regulation, departments or bureaux under the central government, as well as local governments, have taken steps in passing new legal norms and amending existing provisions to promote transparency. By now, 6 central organs have issued or revised departmental measurements on implementing information disclosure (Ministry of Commerce, State Power Regulatory Commission, State Administration of Environmental Protection, General Administration of Customs, State Administration of Intellectual Property, State Administration of Taxation). 11 provincial-level government have issued local rules on government openness (Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Fujian, Henan, Hubei, Hainan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Shaanxi) and the people?s congress of Guangdong province enacted similar legislation. More than 40 municipal-level governments promulgated rules of the same kind.

Alongside with the rules exclusively dedicated to government openness, various laws prescribe disclosure requirements as well, such as the Administrative Licensing Act 2003 and Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases Act 2004. A subsequently passed law in August 2007, the Emergency Response Act 2007, also literally expands the citizen and the press? right of access to information about government?s measures during the time of emergency.

The State Council is also preparing to resolve the immediate conflicts brought by old laws on new rules. It is said that the Archive Act 1996 is under review, as a respond to the wide critics of its over-lengthy period of shielding archived government information.

In view of the constructing of supportive normative environment in favor of information disclosure, China has formulated a new transparency regime, notwithstanding the absence of a general FOI law and the remaining conflicts between pro-secrecy norms and pro-transparency requirements. It could be reasonably expected that the new regime will evolve into a higher level along with the continuous review and amendment of laws

The regime is not an easy breakthrough, Undoubtedly, it will have a far-reaching political and legal impact through empowering the citizens with a legal right to know. However, doubts remain: how well could this new born mechanism work in a relatively inactive public law system? It may take considerable time before for prudent observers to explore whether the Regulation act as a window transparent enough to allow public scrutiny of government apparatus or, virtually, just as a window shutter that simply permits public inspection from limited aspects and the range of vision is easily controlled by officials. If the absence of high-ranked norms and shortage of data concerning legal implementation has impeded the comprehensive study of China?s FOI regime in the past, it is opportune, from now on, to review the legal structure of FOI provisions and evaluate their effectiveness in guaranteeing the ATI right. (To be continued)

Categories: 1.Legal Review, China

What factors in the politico-administrative structure influence Chinese agencies? compliance with disclosure laws?

2008/01/12 1 comment

Given that broad latitude for interpretation is built in the transparency legislations, and that judicial remedy system has not formulated effective legal standards to guide and supervise the latitude, the scope of accessible information is virtually determined by the administrators literally bound by the provisions. As a consequence of the long-standing culture of government secrecy, government agencies treat the information held by them as generally secret and exceptionally accessible to the citizenry, which implies that the information can only be disclosed when the law or regulation explicitly so authorizes and should be sealed when the legal norms keep silence on any disclosure .

This phenomenon could be explained, to some extent, by classical scholarship about bureaucracy. Sociologist Max Webber warned that ?[e]very bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret? (Webber 1946). Political scientist Altshuler noted that ?people in government fear nothing than newsworthy failure? (Altshuler 1997). Administrative scientists have pointed out that internal administrative rules and practices have more influence on staffs of the authority than legal norms do (Feldman 2003).

Therefore, in order to better understand administrators? behaviours concerning information disclosure, attention should be paid to the internal transparency-related policies in the administrative system, and the mechanism of the system that determines the incentives of its staffs.

However, in view of China?s one-party-ruling regime, the administrative organization functions under the omnipresent control of Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, the focus of study should be the ?institution? of politico-administrative system that ?have developed sufficient regularity and perceived importance to shape the behaviours of their members? (Lieberthal 2004). In other words, the search for factors affecting OGI rule enforcement entails the review of the internal policies and functioning of the party-led bureaucracy.

For example, the determination of highest leaders in CPC and central government could explain the wide spread of ?open administrative affairs (OAA)? campaign and its correlation with the rise of ?open government information (OGI)? legislation tide, especially the major force supporting it [1]. And the persistence of their policy stand will substantially affect the intensity of OGI legislation enforcement.

Besides, the problem of segmentation, a unique character of China?s bureaucratic system, will also affect the attitude of agencies with different competence. There are barriers between the governance of departments and regions. Given the vast territory and diverse interest among regions, policies that for the goodness of whole state are carried out and supervised by authorities directly under the State Council and not those subordinated to local governments. The administration seeking to regulate infractions will encounter obstacles from local administration when the behaviour regulated is deemed to profitable to local economic. The typical case is environmental regulation. It helps to explain why environmental protection authorities are more willing to disclose information that are otherwise embarrassing to governments ? it hope to diminish the obstacles created by local government to the policy enforcement of the departmental authority.

To conceptualize the conditions for the growth of public law rights in China, professor Xia Yong has built up an theoretical model (Xia 2004). The model tackles the affecting elements on the part of public power, which can serve as a base for the discussion of this part . And the factors will be studied from two perspectives:

Structural perspective
? Weak public record system
? Ideological concern and central control of information flow
? Interweave of secrecy agency and other administrative agencies

Micro behavioural perspective
? Instrumentalist position in promoting government openness
? Incentive and strategy of administrators
? Incentive and strategy of judges

Biblio:

Webber, M. (1946). Essays in Sociology. New York, Oxford University Press

Altshuler, A. A. (1997). Bureaucratic Innovation, Democratic Accountability, and Political Incentives. Innovation in American government: challenges, opportunities, and dilemmas. A. A. Altshuler and R. D. Behn. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press: 39

Feldman, D. (2003). The limits of law: can laws regulate public administration? Handbook of public administration B. G. Peters and J. Pierre. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif. , Sage Publications

Lieberthal, K. (2004). Governing China : from revolution through reform. New York, W. W. Norton


[1] In March 2005, the Communist Party of China and the State Council jointly issued an important document that established as national policy the principle that all information relating to administration and public services should be disclosed unless exempted as a state secret, commercial secret, or private information. This policy document further endorsed continued local experimentation with local legislation and called for the drafting of national regulations on open government information to ?legalize? open information systems by creating enforceable rights and obligations.

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Understand right of access to information through Hohfeld’s conceptual framework

Hohfeld’s delicate analytical scheme of right can shed light on the legal nature and façades of the right of access to information.

Hohfeld’s established that rights embrace four types of legal relation involving 8 key elements. Very often, statements about rights draw on more than one of the four relations identified. (Hohfeld 1923)
(1) A right is a liberty: a person has a liberty to X means that he has no obligation not to X.
(2) A right is a right ‘strictly speaking’ or a claim right: a person has a right to X means others have a duty to him in respect of X.
(3) A right is a power, that is, the capacity to change legal relations connected with X and others are liable to have their position altered. (For example, a policeman obtains a power-right to enter my home, when he gets a warrant.)
(4) A right is an immunity that is the absence of the liability to have the legal position altered with regards to X.
The relation between the right-holder and other persons differs in the four cases.
Table 1  Hohfeld’s theoretical model of rights: 8 key elements

 hohfeldian_framework_1.JPG

In the light of Hohfeld’s model, the ATI right can be decomposed into 3 relations between the citizens, as the right-holder, and the government agencies, as the duty-bearer or other counterpart of the right-holder.

Table 2  Hohfeld-style model of ATI right

hohfeldian_framework_2.JPG 

Therefore, the right of access through request is identified as a claim-right. Claim-right being regarded as the most important kind of rights, the right of access through request would be the centre of FOI laws. And the exemption clauses are considered as giving grounds for agencies’ immunity from the liability to disseminate information.

A right-centred analytical framework of FOI rules, which will apply to the comparison and analysis of pro-transparency rules as well as anti-transparency norms mentioned above.

1. Right-holder
2. Duty-bearer
3. Content of the right (activity of the duty-bearer, manner, term)
4. Object of the right (information that is accessible)
5. Condition of the right:
a) Immunity advanced by duty-bearer: absolute exemption
b) Administrative discretion in the qualified exemption
c) Treatment of conflicts among laws and the duties thereby imposed
d) Justifying ground of the right (moral or political foundation of the right, legislative intention)
6. Composing elements of infringement and relative defence
7. Approach of access to remedy
8. Liability and compensation

Biblo:
Hohfeld, W. N. (2001). Fundamental legal conceptions as applied in judicial reasoning. Aldershot, Ashgate

Categories: 2.Methodology

Redesign analytical framework of the right of access to information

Traditional analytical framework of FOI regime centres on the process of information disclosure, which is often the main line of FOI law in numerous countries. It mainly includes the scope of the information to be released, the ways of dissemination, the categories of information exempt as well as the balancing conditions, and remedies.

The process of Access to Information

foi_request_handling.JPG

Yet it is more advantageous to observe and understand the disclosure system through the structure of the “access right”. On the one hand, from an analytical prospect, the process-centred framework will be entangled with complex confused standards and sometimes trivial procedural issues. Adopting the right-centred approach makes it easier to learn how much room the regime gives to access right, especially to its enforcement. It is pertinent in a sense that OGI rules – the Chinese-style FOI law – emphasize proactive dissemination rather than disclosure through request, but do not articulate whether the procative publication can be the object of a claimable right. On the other hand, the right of access to information (ATI) is the core of all mature FOI rules (Ackerman 2006), and the spirit of freedom of information lies in the access right, although it can only be ultimately realized through the act of disclosure by administrative agencies. From a normative stand, the right to information is so fundamental in strengthening democratic regime manifested by Chinese constitution that any restriction on it should be legitimized. Observing information disclosure law from a right-centred way can accentuate the significance of the access right. When deciding the legality of agencies’ disclosure act, right-centred position can facilitate the reference to the approach of reviewing government interference adopted in international jurisprudence of human rights . This approach could implement the traditional approach of Chinese administrative law which is concentrated on the legality of administrative acts.

Biblio:
Ackerman, J. M. (2006). “The global explosion of freedom of information laws.” Administrative Law Review 58(1): 85-130

Categories: 2.Methodology