E-access to public information, case I OSK 666/12

December 18th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Association of Leaders of Local Civic Groups (SLLGO) requested the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to disclose the correspondence, including e-mails, of members of the Council of Ministers and their assistants, that concerned the revision of the Polish Act of 6 September 2001 on Access to Public Information – API – (in Polish: Ustawa o dostępie do informacji publicznej), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 112, item 1198, with subsequent amendments. The Prime Minister refused, arguing that such e-mails are not public information, because this is internal correspondence. The SSLGO filed a complaint for failure to act.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 1 December 2011 case file II SAB/Wa 295/11 agreed with the SSLGO and decided that e-mail correspondence in this case was not private, but it should be deemed as public information and properly disclosed, as it was requested by the Association, because it concerned amendments to the API. The Court noted that such e-mails relate to public affairs, as it was previously mentioned by the Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 16 January 2004 case file II SAB 364/0. The Prime Minister filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 21 June 2012 case file I OSK 666/12 annulled the contested judgment. The Court held that the requested e-mails are not public information.

See also “Polish case law on e-access to public information“.