Demands, and desire, for a national Freedom of Information Act have had a long history in Malaysia including by his HRH Sultan Azlan Shah, in his 1986 article “The Right to Know”. Expectations of the new national government, in terms of delivering more open and accountable government, will be high. The lessons from the experiences of the 110 plus countries that have adopted national Freedom of Information or Right to Information legislation will be an important guide for any legislation and more importantly the changes needed in the administrative and governmental culture of Malaysia. There will be demands for Malaysia to produce a world best practice FOI Act and at the same time deal with a long history of administrative secrecy and a reluctance to share high quality information on a timely basis with Malaysian citizens. In this talk Prof. Rick Snell will set out some of the key challenges and some of the options that could be pursued.
PROF. RICK SNELL is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Law at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Currently he is a member of the 10 person International Expert Panel for the Open Government Partnership that involves 76 countries. The views he will express in his talk will be in capacity as a academic and not those of the Independent Expert Panel or the Open Government Partnership.
His research, ideas and teaching have been influential within Australia and internationally. After joining the Law School he quickly built an international reputation in the area of Freedom of Information and he has received a number of university and national awards for teaching excellence in law.
Rick was Deputy Dean of the Law School from 2014 to June 2018. He was an elected and active member of the governing Council of the University of Tasmania from 2003-2006.He has been invited speaker at FOI conferences in Australia, Canada, Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, Fiji, Ghana, USA, New Zealand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tonga and South Africa Associate Professor Snell has been used as an expert in FOI by parliamentary committees and government agencies in all Australian states, Canadian Access to Information Review Task Force, Australian Law Reform Commission, World Bank Institute, OECD, Article 19 (NGO), PACT (NGO) and Open Society Initiative (NGO), Carter Centre (NGO), Tasmanian Review of the Freedom of Information Act, and by journalists in Australia, UK, South Africa and Canada.
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