Freedom of Information Act

The Problem

According to the Israeli Freedom of Information Law 5758-1998 which took effect in May 1999, every resident and citizen of Israel has the right to request information from a public authority, in accordance with the specifications of the law.         

However, as many have experienced first hand, almost anybody who tries to invoke the right to request information finds herself/himself frustrated by Israeli bureaucracies who simply refuse to give the information or even deny the existence of the requested records. In such a case, the applicant can challenge the response by filing an administrative petition with an Israeli Court.

The long waiting times (close to two years), hefty Court fees and a clear bias towards the administration causes many people to shy away from challenging the decision. Hence the country that calls itself the only democracy in the Middle East makes it extremely difficult to obtain information.

"Sunlight is said to be one of the best disinfectants."            - Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), Jewish lawyer and Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court

Our Approach

In cases where the requested information might impact a long term policy but the request for information was denied, we help individuals and organizations get justice by bringing their case to the attention to the courts and call on them to enforce the Freedom of Information statute. Please note that RHIF does not provide any attorney services. 

Our Impact

To date, we have handled over 30 cases with a 100% success rate in receiving a judicial order to release the information and eventually obtaining the records. Tragically, we have a long waiting list of cases which we cannot take up due to a lack of funds. If you wish to make a donation to help us fund these cases you can do so here