‘Concessions in info bill insufficient’

2011-06-30 11:06

In spite of recent concessions made by the ANC on the Protection of Information Bill, the draft legislation will still not pass constitutional muster, a senior advocate specialising in media law said today.

In a legal opinion commissioned by civil rights organisation AfriForum, advocate Kobus van Rooyen SC says in general the bill is vague, complicated and difficult to interpret.

AfriForum presented the opinion to the National Assembly’s ad hoc committee dealing with the bill at Parliament today.

In his 25-page opinion, Van Rooyen concludes that the bill does not stand a reasonable chance of being held by the Constitutional Court as being in harmony with the Constitution.

“It is vague, irrational, overbroad, opens the path to inconsistency, opens a wide opportunity to classify material that could be politically embarrassing to the government of the day and even to classify that which is false and, ultimately, to withhold facts from the public which it is entitled to have access to.

“Ultimately, the astounding result of the [bill] would be that people could be found guilty by a court for disclosing classified information and sent to prison for many years based on a classification which was not in accordance with the basic values on which our Constitution is based – the rule of law, transparency and equal justice,” he says.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.