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Carter Center Hosts Access to Information Seminars in May

In Kingston, 876-755-3641

Kay Torrance
In Atlanta, 1-404-420-5129

KINGSTON, JAMAICA….The Carter Center is hosting three seminars in late May on access to information issues, including how to use the Access to Information Act, how to appeal denials, and the relationship between access to information, the officials secrets act, and public interest disclosure. The seminars underscore the importance of public discussion on existing and future legislation to increase accountability and transparency in Jamaica.

On May 25, the Center and Jamaicans for Justice will hold a seminar at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay to promote awareness to civil society of the importance of their new right of access to information. Richard Calland, a founding member of the Open Democracy Advice Center in South Africa and head of the Political Information and Monitoring Service at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, will moderate. Attendance is by invitation only.

A seminar on the relationship between access to information, the official secrets act, and protection of persons who disclose information in the public interest will be held May 26 at the Knutsford Court Hotel. Speakers include Aylair Livingstone, director of the Access to Information Unit, Dr. Trevor Munroe, Richard Calland, and Ann Brennon, director of Access to Information, Official Secrets, and Privacy for the Canadian government. Hon. Oliver Clarke will moderate the session. This seminar is open to the public.

The Center, along with the Jamaican Bar Association and the Independent Jamaican Council on Human Rights, will address enforcing the Access to Information Act at a May 29 continuing legal education seminar at the Norman Manley Law School. Stuart Neuberger, a partner in Crowell & Moring in Washington D.C., will discuss his experiences in representing freedom of information cases in the United States, such as the release of Cuban missile crisis documents and information related to the Iran-Contra scandal. The sponsors will provide information regarding the formation of a volunteer attorneys panel to represent access to information cases pro bono. This seminar is open to the public.

To register for any of the seminars, please contact Carole Excell at 755-3641.

The Carter Center helped inform the public debate regarding the passage of the access to information law. At the invitation of Jamaica's prime minister, the Center produced a series of guidebooks to help Jamaican citizens understand their country's proposed anticorruption and access to information laws, inviting public discussion that resulted in amendments to strengthen legislation. The Carter Center continues to share the international experience related to implementation and enforcement of the Act. The Center has launched a similar project in Bolivia and Nicaragua.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit:

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