Report on a FOI lawsuit against the Atomic Energy Authority

The HCLU together with seven other environmental and legal defence NGOs sued the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) as it has refused to present data of public interest. The first court hearing was on 25th February 2005.

10th April 2003 a serious derangement has occured at the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, the 2nd unit of the plant was stalled and it was restarted 3rd September 2004. The eight NGOs tried to gain insight into the documentation on which the restart decision was based, but the HAEA stated that these document are not of public interest. According to the Hungarian Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act if someone’s application for data of public interest is refused the data processing organ can be sued for publishing the information.

The eight NGOs filed their petition on the 22nd September 2004. The first court hearing was today. In the Hungarian FOI law the burden of proof that the refusal was lawful and well-founded lies with the data processing organ. The HAEA states that the expertise is under the protection of intellectual property law and it is a business secret. Furthermore they claim it is data for internal use and data prepared in connection with decision making, which shall not be public within 20 years. At the first hearing the HAEA has not made a motion for proving their statements.

The next court hearing will be on 1st of April.

Share

Related articles

Despite the new GCO (Government Control Office) decree reports are still inaccessible

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) has taken the Government Control Office to court to make public their report analyzing the failure on the reform of the public administration. The Metropolitan Court has dismissed the HCLU’s action on the liberty to appeal.

HCLU called OGP to investigate the situation in Hungary

Last fall, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) adopted a new policy to help re-establish an environment for government and civil society collaboration, safeguarding the Open Government Declaration and to mitigate reputational risks to OGP. Today, members of Hungarian civil society, including representatives of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Transparency International Hungary and K-Monitor, as well as Sunlight’s international policy manager, a former employee of K-Monitor, called on the OGP Steering Committee to take action under the new policy and launch a thorough investigation into the situation in Hungary, with a special attention to the deterioration of the space for civil society.

The HCLU Wins 100 Billion Lawsuit

In September, 2006 the HCLU has sued the Ministry of Finance for denying to make public the information relating to the 100 billion forint deficit in the 2006 budget. Last October the Metropolitan Court has ruled in favor of the HCLU and in it's first instance decision has declared the requested data to be of public-interest.