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Posts from the ‘Open government’ Category

Address to International Conference of Information Commissioners

I’m looking forward to giving an address to the International Conference of Information Commissioners in Manchester, UK on September 20-21, 2017. The working title is “Defending the open society.” The meeting will be jointly hosted by the UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, and the Scottish Information Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew.  More information about the conference here.

Canadian Bar Association panel on future of access to information

pa280002I participated in a panel discussion on the future of access to information at the Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium in Ottawa on October 28.  The program is here.  The panel included Michel Drapeau, Murray Rankin MP, and David Loukidelis.

RFI story on WikiLeaks

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 11.38.37 AMI’m quoted in a July 29 story by Radio France Internationale on WikiLeaks.  Read the story.  I provided a skeptical view about WikiLeaks’ impact in a 2011 article in the Wilson Quarterly, The WikiLeaks Illusion.  Read the 2011 article.  A longer academic version of that article also appeared in the International Review of Administrative Sciences in 2012.  Read the 2012 article.

Technology for Accountability Lab

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 4.38.19 PMI’ll be a presenter in the Technology for Accountability Lab that will be hosted this summer by Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law.  Details here.

Debate on open government

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 3.45.23 PMI was pleased to help with hosting a debate on open government at the Reynolds Journalism Institute on March 15.  Video of the debate here.

5th and 6th global conferences on transparency research

The 5th Global Conference on Transparency Research: University of Limerick, Ireland, June 19 to June 21, 2017

 The 6th Global Conference on Transparency Research, The Schools of Administration and Law at the FGV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Late June 2018

The Standing Executive Committee of the Global Conference on Transparency Research—consisting of: A.J. (Albert) Meijer (Utrecht University), Suzanne Piotrowski (Rutgers University), Alasdair Roberts (University of Missouri), Jean-Patrick Villeneuve (University of Lugano)—is very pleased to announce the 5th and 6th Global Conferences on Transparency Research at the University of Limerick, Ireland (June 2017) and The Schools of Administration and Law at the FGV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (June 2018) respectively. Read more

European Ombudsman discusses Mexico address

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 8.23.53 AMIn a February 25 speech in Dublin, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly discusses my address to Mexico’s Accountability Network last October as well as earlier work on the effect of Wikileaks.

Where Brandeis got “sunlight is the best disinfectant”

A note for Sunshine Week, March 15-21, 2015.  Louis Brandeis is credited with writing that “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”  But why did Brandeis say that sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants?  Because he was referring to a statement by James Bryce in his 1888 book, The American Commonwealth.

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Open secrets and dirty hands

In light of the just-released report on CIA torture, this 2012 book chapter, “Open Secrets and Dirty Hands,” might be of interest. “Complaints about secretiveness were commonplace throughout the presidency of George W. Bush. Such complaints overestimated the capacity of a contemporary President to maintain secrecy. Moreover, they overlooked the reality that information about the worst abuses of the Bush administration was generally accessible to the public. We professed ignorance about governmental kidnapping, indefinite detention, and prisoner abuse, even though details about such practices were readily available.” Read on SSRN.

Sarat-Douglas-Umphreys0314This chapter was published in The Secrets of  Law (Stanford University Press, 2012).  Kevin Wagner reviewed the book for Law and Politics Book Review in March 2014.  “Alasdair Roberts’ ‘Open Secrets and Dirty Hands’ is an excellent look back at the secrecy conflict during the Bush Administration. He effectively presents the idea of a willing ignorance as a complicit element of perceived government secrecy.” Read the review.

Brookings paper discusses openness lecture

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.07.34 AMA brief just published by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management discusses my lecture to the Accountability Network’s conference in Mexico City in October.  “Roberts rightly sounds an alarm about recent claims that transparency is a cause of declining democracies and government dysfunction,” write Gary Bass, Danielle Brian and Norman Eisen.  Read the brief.