The Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities. Transparency of public authorities is a key feature of good governance and an indicator of whether or not a society is genuinely democratic and pluralist. The right of access to official documents is also essential to the self-development of people and to the exercise of fundamental human rights. It also strengthens public authorities’ legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and its confidence in them.

Protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights

*This Protocol ceased to be in force or applied on a provisional basis as from 1 June 2010, date of entry into force of Protocol No. 14 to the Convention (Article 9).