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IFLA Statement on Public Legal Information


The International Federation of Library Associations Governing Board on Dec. 13 approved a statement calling on governments to ensure that there is free and equal access to public legal information (including third party standards where these are referenced), that governments design and implement effective preservation strategies, and that they incorporate technology-based authentication tools so that citizens can be sure that what they are reading is genuine. The text is reprinted below, not including several annexes containing references and supporting documents and three examples of countries using authentication technology.

Introduction

The freedom to seek and receive information is recognized as a basic human right by Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This right of access to information is particularly important in regard to public legal information. People of countries throughout the world should be able readily to access the laws that govern them. Providing such access is a responsibility of governments and is necessary for transparency and accountability, for civil engagement, and for a just society.