Krytyka Prawa. Niezależne studia nad prawem
The importance of transparency for democracy
Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act of 1766 (Tryckfrihetsförordningen), the world’s very first legislation supporting freedom of the press and freedom of information, is part of the country’s constitution and grants today the widest possible public access to official documents. It forms the basis of the traditional Swedish right known as The Principle of Public Access to Official Documents (offentlighetsprincipen) and plays a crucial role not only in providing the right to access public documents, but is also indispensable in order to uphold public accountability of government and state officials. Exercising the widest possible transparency contributes to the proper functioning of the liberal democratic system, while curtailing corruption and abuse. Developing transparency and shaping an open society promotes greater participation of citizens in the society, encourages confidence in the state – an essential element in building an effective state that is to serve its owners, the citizens – as well as benefits the functioning of the rule of law and increases the quality of democracy.
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