Access to information

Doreen Weisenhaus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Hong Kong government, like most modern governments, gathers and generates large amounts of recorded information. It documents its decisions, its operations and its dealings with the private and public sectors. It collects statistics and data on people, institutions and the economy. Whether and how it shares that information with its citizens are the subjects of much discussion and controversy. This chapter focuses on laws and regulations that affect how certain government information and proceedings are required to be made available to the public and, by extension, journalists. In particular, it examines Hong Kong's administrative Code on Access to Information. While the code requires public access to some government-held or produced information, it also expressly excludes disclosure of information across more than a dozen broad categories. The practical effect of the code - Together with the highly restrictive Official Secrets Ordinance, described in Chapter 7, and the lack of so-called sunshine laws that would require the meetings of many governmental bodies to be open - is to cloak in secrecy much of even the ordinary work of the government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHong Kong Media Law
Subtitle of host publicationA Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals
PublisherHong Kong University Press, HKU
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9789622098077
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Weisenhaus, D. (2007). Access to information. In Hong Kong Media Law: A Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals (pp. 87-101). Hong Kong University Press, HKU.