Ireland and Austria, countries where secrets can remain secret
In Ireland They have a 30-year limit, known as “thirty year ruleAlthough the Official Secrets Act of 1963 of this country does not establish a time limit, National Archives Act (1986) sets a limit on access to public archives that does not compromise state security, as the Irish Embassy in Spain explained to Newtral.es.
The rule also establishes that “all records created or received by a government department shall be retained until destroyed or transferred to the National Archives for public use, when required to arrive.” In other words, the Department of State “has a legal obligation to transfer documents older than 30 years (…) for ease of public access”, as the National Archives of Ireland website states. .
However, the embassy notes that National Archives Act The declassification of a document is reserved If it is contrary to the public interest, if it may violate a legal obligation and if it contains confidential information that could cause harm to anyone. In each of these three cases, the regulations provide for a review of the files every five years, but “there is no legal limit to their retention” as the embassy indicates.
In the case of Austria, there is no set limit. Official secrets in this country are contained in the constitution (art. 20) and the Civil Service Act (art. 46), as stated by the government on its website and sources from the Austrian Ministry of Finance have confirmed to Newtral.es. Neither sets a deadline for its declassification.
Demurtas claims that Austrian regulations do not establish a maximum time limit for the declassification of official documents. In addition, the experts recall that the European Commission has asked the country to adopt the European regulation concerning the publication of official documents within the European framework. On the other hand, the Austrian state has also security information law ,All law relating to information security lawAccording to this, only high dignitaries such as the President of the Republic, his ministers or authorized persons can access classified information.
Spain and Belgium, at the same point: this time without a decommissioning period and with two preliminary projects to be established
A preliminary draft approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers last week provides for the automatic declassification of documents after a certain period. This duration will depend on the degree of secrecy and will range from four to 50 years.
Thus, the standard would include four categories: Top Secret, Secret, Confidential and Restricted. Each level will have a different level of security depending on the threat to state security.
According to the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, neither the 1998 law on the classification of official secrets in Belgium nor its implementing decree provided for a time limit for the declassification of this type of document. neutral.s.
The institution clarifies that the rules provide only in its article 3 of the decree that the classification authority can declassify, but there is currently no legal deadline within which documents must be declassified. In this sense, there is no word in the official secrets of this country, as confirmed by Bolaos.
In addition, the researcher and professor of constitutional law and rights and freedoms at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) Lucien Rigaux underlines that the country is currently debating a bill which would reduce these deadlines according to the level of secrecy of the documents. Will do , As such, the New Testament establishes declassification at 20, 30 or 50 years, depending on whether it is respectively confidential, secret, or very secret.