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"With the Transparency Law we gain in legal certainty, since the limits to the right to information are determined with greater clarity."

Two experts from Administrative Law and Political Science analyze the new rule

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David Thunder and Mª Amparo Salvador. PHOTO: Courtesy/Manuel Castells

"With the Transparency Law we gain legal certainty, since the limits to the right to information are more clearly determined. However, the Law can always be improved". This is the opinion of María Amparo Salvador, full professor of Administrative Law of the University of Navarra, on the occasion of the new rule , which comes into force on December 10.

In the opinion of this expert, it is a "balanced regulation": "Transparency hides a complex reality and, therefore, requires reaching a balance with other rights and interests involved, such as the right to privacy, national security, economic and commercial interests, economic and monetary policy, intellectual and industrial property...".

"The information in the hands of the Administration always affects third parties and conflicts may arise between the different rights at stake," he adds. In his opinion, "the Law first and the Administration that executes it afterwards have to guarantee the balance between all those rights and interests involved".

The professor of the School of Law The new Law does not constitute a novelty, but rather "broadens, deepens and improves the subjective right that the Spanish legal system included in the Constitution and in article 35 of Law 30/1992, which is now completed". 

Education public campaign on transparency

For his part, David Thunder, researcher of the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra, stresses that "any legal measures to ensure the transparency of our public institutions will have little impact if they are not accompanied by a reform of the attitudes and customs in force in the institutions in question".

In this sense, he assures that "an educational reform, an authentic moral leadership of the supervisors of public institutions, training of new employees in good habits of transparency and responsibility staff, and the development of an institutional culture where the exhibition of corruption is not perceived as a sin of disloyalty" would be needed.

From agreement with the expert in Political Science, one of the most important support measures for this Transparency Law would be "a public Education campaign in the media, social networks, and schools, not only on how citizens can exercise their rights of access to public information, but also on the value of transparency and its implications both in matters of public administration and the ordinary and professional life of citizens".