The Right of Access to Information

The Right of Access to Information Law, enacted in February 2017 and amended in July 2021, along with its implementation decree in 2020, allows every person and the general public free access, by automatic publication or by request to all public information and documents that can no more be kept secret, with few exceptions that are listed limitatively. It also allows the correction of personal information when applicable.

The administrations obligated by the law are a wide array of public and private entities in charge of a public interest, particularly:  ministries, independent councils and funds, public institutions, municipalities and unions of municipalities, courts, private companies in charge of managing public services or public facilities and public interest associations.

Information and document required to be automatically published by the obligated administrations are: laws, decrees and their related rationales, administrative decisions and circulars, rationales of individual administrative decisions, annual activity reports with their related balance sheets and financial expenditures above fifty million Lebanese Pounds.

All public document, of whichever kind, whether printed, audio visual or electronic, can also be freely accessible by request, including correspondence, contracts, studies, budgets and reports. However, as in all countries, this principle is limited by the exception of a list of information that are not accessible related to an overriding public or private interest: the secrets related to national defense, public security, foreign relations, professional or commercial secrets, information putting the States’ financial and economic stability in jeopardy, including the national currency, the private life and health of individuals, and other confidential information that are protected by specific  laws.

To facilitate requests for information, all obligated administrations are required to develop electronic platforms, file documents appropriately and to appoint an information officer and provide him/her with the necessary tools to respond to peoples’ requests for information within the deadlines specified by the law.

Since its coming into force in 2017, the Right of Access to Information law has not been appropriately or fully implemented yet. Therefore, a national action plan to support the implementation of the law through ten areas of intervention, was adopted by the Ministerial Anti-Corruption Committee in July 2020, which has started to being implemented in various ways.

For more information about the right to access to information, you may access relevant resources by clicking the links below:

National Action Plan to Implement The Right to Access to Information Law – English

Useful Links:

Right to Access to information - Citizen Guide - by Gherbal Initiative - 2020

Transparency in the Municipalities and Federations - by Gherbal Initiative - 2020


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