General Assembly Resolution # 506
A resolution to enact uniform standards that protect workers, consumers, and the general public.
Area of Effect: Legal Reform
Proposed by: Imperium Anglorum
Whereas court records are fundamental to the ability for the public to learn of and execute effective oversight on their judicial systems :
And whereas people of limited financial means have unconscionable financial barriers to their access of such documents :
And whereas it is the case that in many nations, knowledge of judicial decisions and doctrines is required to fully understand the law as it is enforced rather than as it is stated in text, meaning that such barriers make it difficult for poor people to determine what the law actually is :
Now, therefore, be it enacted by the World Assembly, by and with the advice and consent of the Delegates and Members, in this present session assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :
Member nation court systems must to the best of their ability provide open access to unsealed court documents and their redacted derivatives in person, upon request, and online, charging no fees for the provision of such services. Reasonable limitations may be made to ensure the breadth of public access and the good faith of accessors. No limitation may be enforced on the ability of member nation inhabitants to read or reproduce such documents; nor may any copyright be recognised or enforced over documents produced by member nation courts.
The public has a presumptive right to all court documents, and such documents may only be sealed: (a) upon order of a judicial officer who has determined the specific and contextualised existence of a compelling need which (i) supersedes the public's interest in open access and (ii) is essential to preserve or advance the public interest or (b) if it is required by World Assembly legislation. When a court document is sealed, member nation courts must create and release a redacted derivative without the information that fails the test in the section above and, to the extent practicable, give reasons for the exclusion of such information.
All unsealed court documents and their redacted derivatives pertaining to a case must be deposited, upon the case's conclusion and within a reasonable time frame, with the Universal Library Coalition.