The Right to the Truth: not yet a final victory, but an achievement nonetheless

Below we publish a letter received from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in response to our request for information regarding the grounds State executive bodies have for issuing “secret material”.

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THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE OF UKRAINE
Ukraine, 01001, Kyiv
Horodetsky St, 13
Tel: (38-044) 279-66-64
Fax: (38-044) 279-56-31

21.01.2006 № С-32705-22

To O. Y. Severyn

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has reviewed your letter concerning the grounds for the application of stamps restricting access to normative legal acts and has the following comments.

Classifying normative legal acts with stamps restricting access, which is not envisaged by legislation, is a violation of the rights of citizens to access to legal information. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has carried out an analysis of acts issued by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine over the years 1991 – 2005 with the stamps restricting access: “Not to be printed” and “Not to be published” which are not allowed for by Ukrainian legislation.

As a result of their analysis, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has approached the Cabinet of Ministers suggesting that they give instructions with regard to the inadmissibility of future use of the above-mentioned stamps limiting access and to the publication of acts previously issued by the Cabinet of Ministers bearing these stamps.

The Deputy Minister,
M. M. Shupenya

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We welcome the laudable intentions of the Ministry of Justice and hope that this will prove “not only in word, but in deed”. At the same time, we would point out that the issue concerns not only normative acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, but also those issued by the President of Ukraine and by other State executive bodies.

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