Influenced by Enlightenment thought, the revolutions in America (1776) and France (1789), freedom of the press enshrined provisions and requirements for public budgetary accounting and freedom of the press in constitutional articles.
In the nineteenth century, attempts by Metternichean statesmen to row back on these measures were vigorously opposed by a number of eminent liberal politicians and writers, Bentham, Mill and Acton prominent among the latter.
If you have questions or comments about the contents of this manual, please contact Nancy Krier, the Assistant Attorney General for Open Government at [email protected]
The Attorney General’s Open Government Resource Manual describes Washington’s open government laws as of the last update in 2016. Readers should be aware that court decisions issued or statutes enacted after the last revised date of the manual or a particular chapter may impact the law as summarized here.
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The passage of formal legislative instruments to this end can also be traced to this time with Sweden, for example, (which then included Finland as a Swedish-governed territory) enacting free press legislation as part of its constitution (Freedom of the Press Act, 1766).
This approach, and that of the philosophes more broadly, is strongly related to recent historiography on the eighteenth-century public sphere.
Open government is vital to a free and informed society, and this updated guide will help both public officials and the people they serve understand our state’s open government laws.
This 2016 edition modernizes the prior manual interpreting those laws.