National “Access to Information Litigation in Bulgaria” Conference was organized and held on March 27, 2009 in Sofia. The conference was organized and held by AIP in the frame of the project Promotion of Open Government through FOI Legal Assistance and Litigation, financed by the Open Society Institute, Human Rights and Governance Grants Program, Budapest.
Among the 90 participants were lawyers, judges from administrative courts, representatives of NGOs, media, activists, citizens who have submitted ATI requests and have appealed refusals in the court. The Chairperson of the Supreme Administrative Court, Mr. Konstantin Penchev addressed the audience at the opening. Foreign experts from Ukraine, Georgia, Spain, Macedonia, the Netherlands, and UK took part in the conference.
Experience in the defense of the right of access to information at an European level was shared by Mr. Tony Bunyan (Director of Statewatch), Ms. Eva Moraga (Legal Advisor, Access Info Europe), and Roger Vleugels (Dutch FOI expert), Mr. Roman Romanov (Rule of Law Program Director at the International Renaissance Foundation Ukraine), and Mr. Roger Vleugels (Dutch FOI expert).
Among the topics discussed were the 2008 amendments to the Bulgarian Access to Public Information Act; issues and results from AIP litigation practices on the Access to Public Information Act during 2005-2008; the trade secret and protection of personal data exemption; preparatory documents exemption; access to information and classified information; the scope of the definition of information; the execution of court judgments. Please, refer to the agenda of the conference http://www.aip-bg.org/pdf/agenda2009_eng.pdf. Pictures from the conference can be viewed here.