Right to Information

New(ish) Right to Information Policy in Saudi

The government of Saudi issued in May last year a national policy on the right to information, making Saudi the first country in the GCC to formally recognise the right to information as a legitimate right for members of the public. However, even though this is a transparency policy, the actual text of the policy was not available to the public in full until very recently. This post looks at the non-legally binding nature of this policy, its widely worded exceptions, and the lack of an external appeal process or any other mechanism for enforcing it. Notwithstanding its shortcomings, this policy remains a major milestone for the right to information in the GCC and may encourage other governments in the region to consider granting their citizens similar rights.