Edited by Padideh Ala’i and Robert G. Vaughn
Chapter 1: Transparency and closure
The debate over transparency is widespread in the world, though of varying intensity. There are fundamental, underlying reasons, moreover, for both its ubiquity and its variability. Its ubiquity is the easiest to demonstrate. It is raised as an issue across the entire spectrum of public and private law and in a remarkable range of human activities of more, or less, legal concern. The 2012 Congress of the International Association of Legal Methodology thus addressed transparency as a ‘principle of governance’ in legislation, regulation, judgment and contract, and the choice of topic is the result of ongoing preoccupation with the subject in all governmental institutions. In the United States, the Obama administration issued an Open Government Directive in 2009, complementing existing Freedom of Information legislation, and US concern is mirrored at the level of the United Nations (UN) through its Open Government Partnership, a new ‘global club’ created in 2011 and open to all states willing to commit to basic standards of openness, such as publication of a draft state budget. While most efforts towards transparency have been undertaken in legislative and executive branches, as is illustrated by the contents of this volume, the judiciary has not been exempted from the debate.
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