The IST’s mission is to enhance the transparency of public authorities and agencies by offering specialist programmes in the implementation of the right of access to information, to public servants and other key social stakeholders from around the world, but especially from developing countries and emerging democracies, so as to enable best practice to be shared through peer-learning.
IST’s vision is that by providing a facilitated space for knowledge and best practice to be shared by a range of key stakeholders from different sectors and countries, new norms and standards in compliance and implementation of right of access to information law will emerge, thereby increasing the supply of information to people and strengthening the demand for accountable, democratic governance. The objective is that by giving public servants this space to learn and share experience, and through the exposure to a comparative, global perspective, they will provide the public with a much higher level of service and thus enhance the public’s ‘right to know’
An international partnership between North and South
The IST is supported by a partnership between the law schools of two universities, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the University of Södertörn in Sweden, working in collaboration the Open Democracy Advice Centre, Cape Town, and other organisations.The IST is led by co-directors, Associate Professor Richard Calland and Assistant Professor Patricia Jonason.
Brief Bio of Richard Calland
Richard Calland has been working in the field of democracy and governance for almost 2 decades. He is Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town, where he teaches constitutional and human rights law, and heads a new Democratic Governance & Rights Unit. He specializes in the law and practice of the right to access to information and whistleblowing protection; in administrative justice and public ethics; and in constitutional design – largely derived from his work as programme manager of the Political Information & Monitoring Service at Idasa – the African democracy Institute – and which he led from its inception in 1995 until 2003.
He is currently Director of the Economic Governance programme at Idasa. Until recently, he was part-time Executive Director of the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), a law centre based in Cape Town that specializes in the ‘right to know’, and which Calland founded in 2000. Professor Calland has in recent years served as an expert consultant to the Carter Center, the foundation led by former US President Jimmy Carter, advising on various transparency projects in Bolivia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru and Mali. He is a member of the International Advisory Group for the Medicines Transparency Initiative (MeTA) and provides regular strategic advice on politics and governance to a range of local and international corporates. He is a Senior Associate of the Cambridge University’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership – acting as faculty on a range of leadership programmes – and secretary-general of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers. Before coming to South Africa in 1994, Calland practiced law at the London Bar. He holds an LLM from the University of Cape Town, a Diploma in World Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) Law from the University of Durham.
Brief Bio of Patricia Jonason
Patricia Jonason is Assistant Professor in the Public Law Department at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. She teaches Administrative, European and Human Rights Law. She is inter alia responsible for a Master on Human Rights and the Public Administration at Södertörn University.
Her research interests are principally in the Right of Access to Information as well as in the Environmental Governance. She holds a PhD in Public Law from the University of Paris XII, France (2001), with a comparative doctoral dissertation about Data Protection and the Right of Access to Information in France and in Sweden.