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Freedom of Information Act at 250: Panel Discussion

Past Event

On 2 December 1766, the world’s first-ever freedom of information law was signed into law. It had been promulgated by the Riksdag – Parliament – of Sweden and Finland, which at the time was one country.

The 1766 Law is the oldest constitution to regulate freedom of information in the world and is thus celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2016.

It pioneered public access to state information, making what was then Sweden and Finland the first country in the world to officially instigate a Right to Information law.

This aim of this event is to commemorate, celebrate and scrutinise the adoption of this law as well as discuss its relevance and importance in the UK and the world today.

The discussion in the format of a conversation will be moderated by the BBC’s Nicola Cain and will include the UK’s new Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who will cover the contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities presented by living with FOI laws – and what the future may hold.

This event is comprised of two moderated discussions and a panel discussion in the format of a conversation. The moderated discussions will start at 2:30pm and finish at 5:15pm. The panel discussion will start at 6pm and will end with a drinks and canapés reception for all participants.

Please note: This booking page is for the panel discussion only. You will need to purchase an additional ticket to attend the moderated discussions.

To book to attend the panel discussion, please proceed to the booking section below.

If you would like to attend the moderated discussions, please click here to book tickets.

With thanks to the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of Finland and the Information Law and Policy Centre.


Nicola Cain, BBC Head of Legal – Freedom of Information & Contentious Data Protection who deals with FOI requests and appeals.

Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner –independent regulatory office dealing with the UK Freedom of Information law.

Lord James Wallace of Tankerness, former member of Scottish Government who piloted the Freedom of Information Act through the Scottish Parliament.

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