Annex D: Appeals Options and Oversight Bodies

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Appeal Options, by Country
Oversight Body
European Union
FIRST, Administrative appeal to the same body, called “confirmatory application”
THEN either Ombudsman OR Court of First Instance
European Ombudsman
Albania
FIRST, administrative appeal
THEN, judicial appeal OR complaint to Ombudsman
People’s Advocate (Ombudsperson) – decisions are not binding
Armenia
FIRST, Administrative appeal followed by appeal to the Courts (recommended)
OR Ombudsperson
Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia (Ombudsperson) – decisions are not binding
Austria
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, appeal to the courts
Austrian Ombudsman Board
Volksanwaltschaft
Belgium
Belgium
FIRST, Request for reconsideration to the administrative body
AND at the same time request to the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents for advisory opinion
THEN, application to Administrative Court for annulment of refusal to grant information
Commission (fédérale) d’Accès aux Documents Administratfis
Belgium – Flanders
FIRST, Application to the Appeal Instance for annulment of refusal to grant information
THEN application to Supreme Court for annulment of refusal to grant information
De beroepsinstantie inzake openbaarheid van bestuur en hergebruik van overheidsinformatie
(Appeal Instance on access to administrative documents and the re-use of public sector information)
http://www3.vlaanderen.be/openbaarheid/beroepsinstantie.php
Belgium – French Community of Belgium
FIRST, Request for reconsideration to the administrative body
AND at the same time request to the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents for advisory opinion
THEN application to Supreme Administrative Court for annulment of refusal to grant information
Commission d’Accès aux Documents Administratifs (specific to the French Community of Belgium)
Bosnia Herzegovina
FIRST, appeal to head of the public authority that issued the decision.
THEN either apply for judicial review, OR complaint to Ombudsman
Ombudsman for Human Rights (in Bosnian languages only)
Bulgaria
FIRST, Administrative Appeal
OR (depending the body) Regional courts or Supreme Administrative Court
No oversight body – appeal to courts
Canada
FIRST, complaint to the Information Commissioner
THEN, appeal to the courts
Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
Croatia
FIRST, Administrative appeal to head of the administrative body
THEN, Administrative court
OR, Ombudsman
Ombudsman
Czech Republic
FIRST, Appeal to superior body of the public body that issued the decision.
THEN, If the latter has rejected the appeal a court can review this.
No oversight body – appeal to courts
Denmark
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, appeal to courts
OR, to Ombudsman
Folketingets Ombudsman
Estonia
FIRST, Appeal to Supervisory body
OR, Administrative court.
OR, Data Protection Inspectorate
Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate
- oversees implementation of the Public Information Act
Finland
FIRST, Appeal to a higher authority
THEN, to the Administrative Court
OR, apply to Parliamentary Ombudsman for review of the decision.
Parliamentary Ombudsman
France
FIRST, Administrative appeal (“recours gracieux”) AND/OR appeal direct to Commission on Access to Administrative Documents
THEN, Conseil d’État to challenge the decision of the CADA
Commission on Access to Administrative Documents (CADA) – decisions are not binding but can appeal to the Administrative Tribunal for enforcement of a CADA decision
Commission d’Accès aux Documents Administratifs (CADA) (in French only)
Georgia
FIRST, internal administrative appeal
THEN, Administrative Court
THEN, Supreme Court
No oversight body
Germany
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, court appeal
OR, appeal to Information Commissioner
The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Some German Länder also have Freedom of Information laws overseen by Commissioners:
Greece

FIRST, internal appeal
THEN, Ombudsman’s office

Greek Ombudsman

Hungary
FIRST, Applicant has option to launch judicial appeal (first and second instance)

OR to appeal to the Data Protection and FOI Commissioner
Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
- decisions are not binding
Iceland
FIRST, Appeal to the Information Committee.
Government bodies are required to comply with the decisions but can appeal to the courts.
Information Committee (In Icelandic only)
Ireland
FIRST, Application for internal review of the decision (costs €75)
THEN, appeal to the Information Commissioner (application fee of €150).
THEN, appeal to High Court
Office of the Information Commissioner
– the Information Commissioner can order disclosure.
Italy
FIRST, Appeal to regional administrative court
THEN, Council of State
Commissione Per L’accesso Ai Documenti Ammnistrativi (in Italian)
Kosovo
FIRST, Internal administrative appeal
THEN, Administrative Court
OR Ombudsperson Institution
Ombudsperson Institution
Kyrgyz Republic
FIRST, Administrative appeal, to a superior officer
OR to the Ombudsman
Ombudsman of the Kyrgyz Republic - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Latvia
FIRST, Appeal to manager of the institution, or to a higher institution where one exists;
THEN, Court (takes 3-4 years and is rarely used for information requests).
Latvian Ombudsman’s Office – but not responsible for the access to information law!
Liechtenstein
FIRST, Administrative appeal to the body handling the request,
THEN, appeal according to the administrative law.
No oversight body
Lithuania
FIRST, appeal to internal Appeals Dispute Commission
THEN, Administrative Court
OR, Seimas Ombudsman
The Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office
Macedonia
FIRST, Appeal to the Information Commission
THEN, administrative dispute before administrative court

Commission for the Protection of the Right to Free Access to Information
- can order disclosure

Moldova
FIRST, Apply to top management of body and/or higher body
THEN, apply to courts
No oversight body
Montenegro
FIRST, Appeal either to a supervisory body if one exists
OR, directly to the Administrative Court, which can order disclosure.
No oversight body
Netherlands
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, Court Appeal
THEN, High Court Appeal
(National Ombudsman)
The Ombudsman has no specific mandate to oversee the access to information law, so the normal appeal procedure is via the courts.
Norway
FIRST, Appeal to superior administrative body followed by appeal to courts
OR to Ombudsman
Sivilombudsmannen
Poland
FIRST, Internal appeal
THEN, Administrative Court
No oversight body – Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection (Ombudsman) has been active in calling for transparency
Portugal
FIRST, Committee of Access to Administrative
Documents
THEN, Administrative court
Commission on Access to Administrative Documents
Romania
FIRST, Public authority or manager
THEN, Administrative Court
THEN, Court of Appeal
No oversight body – appeal to courts, which can order disclosure. The Ombudsman occasionally handles access to information concerns.
Russia
FIRST, appeal to higher body OR to higher official according to established legal procedures relevant for that body;
THEN, appeal to court
No oversight body
Serbia
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, Information Commissioner
THEN, Administrative Court
Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection
The Commissioner's rulings are binding, final and enforceable. Requestors can apply to the Government to enforce the Commissioner's rulings.
Slovakia
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, appeal to the courts
No oversight body – appeal to courts which can return decision to the administrative body for review.
Slovenia
FIRST, Administrative appeal
THEN, Information Commissioner
THEN, Administrative Court
Information Commissioner
- decisions become binding upon the expiry of the term for launching an administrative dispute.
Sweden
FIRST, Internal appeal
THEN, Administrative Court of Appeal
THEN, Supreme Administrative Court
ALSO, can apply to the Parliamentary Ombudsman
Parliamentary Ombudsman
Riksdagens Ombudsmän
- issues recommendations
Switzerland
FIRST, Appeal to Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner for mediation
THEN, if not happy with outcome, apply for a formal decision from the public body
THEN, appeal that decision to the federal administrative tribunal
The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner
- mediates and issues recommendations which can then be appealed before the courts if the public body does not act on them or if they are not in favour of the requestor.
Tajikistan
FIRST, Appeal to a superior officer
OR in court


Turkey
FIRST, Appeal to the Board of Review of Access to Information
THEN, apply to Administrative Court
Board of Review of Access to Information
Ukraine
FIRST, Internal administrative appeal
THEN, Administrative Court
No oversight body
UK
United Kingdom
FIRST, Administrative appeal to same body
THEN, Information Commissioner’s Office
THEN, Information Tribunal, a special court which reviews ICO decisions (in Scotland judicial appeal on points of law only).
The Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO)
UK – Scotland
FIRST Administrative appeal to the same body
THEN Review by same body
THEN Scottish Information Commissioner
THEN Judicial appeal, but only on a point of law
Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner

United States
FIRST, Administrative appeal, to the head of the relevant public body.
THEN to the courts.


Uzbekistan
Can be appealed to the courts



 

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