Օpinion on the NSS draft
The RA National Security Service put the Government’s draft decree “On approving the list of information classified as a state secret according to departmental affiliation” in the Unified Website for publication of draft legal acts for discussion. The draft establishes new provisions for information restrictions. Law Development and Protection Foundation, Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center and Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor published an opinion on its shortcomings.
It is paramount for the organizations that the risk of danger stemming from information provision outweigh the general public interest of information disclosure. At the same time, attaching great importance to the state’s unchallengeable legal interest of ensuring defense and national security, the organizations find that any restriction of the freedom to information should be proportionate and useful in terms of pursuing the noted goals and should not be simply aimed at classifying maximum amount of information thus increasing, for example, corruption risks. The draft gives a list which includes information whose classification without additional conditions will lead to disproportionate and purposeless restriction of the right. Moreover, the changes do not stem from international practice and standards, which the opinion also addresses with specific examples.
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