Information is the key to sound decision-making, to accountability and development, it underpins democracy and assists in combating poverty, oppression, corruption, prejudice and in efficiency. Unwillingness to disclose information may arise through habits of secrecy or reasons of self-protection. But information can be genuinely private, confidential or sensitive and these interests merit respect in their own right and, in the case of those who depend on information to fulfil their functions, because this may not otherwise be forthcoming.Knight suggests that the traditional rationales which support freedom of expression, namely truth, democracy and self-realisation, also support a right of access to government information ( PL 468). If this is so, then Article 10 of the ECHR can provide a basis for a right of access to information, at least for the press. The legal rationale is that, under Article 10, freedom of expression in relation to the press carries with it a duty to inform the public (Section 23.3). However, in Burmah Oil Co Ltd v Bank of England  AC 1090, 1112, Lord Wilberforce did not believe that the courts should support open government.
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