The Role of the Judiciary Fighting “The Right to Be Ignorant” in Environmental Administrative Proceedings in Chile

José A. Hernandez-Riera



Chilean laws provide adequate public access to environmental information, but also provide exemptions from disclosure. The impairment and the trade secret exemptions can hinder transparency and public input when required in environmental-related adjudication and rule-making proceedings. Even they may be misused to avoid blame, therefore information not covered by these exemptions, yet sensitive for any reason, may be unduly withheld. While there is a public transparency watchdog, the Council for Transparency, issues regarding public access to information in environmental-related adjudication and rule-making proceedings can be reviewed by the Environmental Courts. This Article outlines some aspects of the Chilean general transparency and administrative procedures, and the environmental transparency rules, as related to public input in environmental adjudication and rule-making proceedings. Then it shows how the Judiciary has fought “the right to be ignorant”.


environment; environmental governance; administrative decision making; right to know; transparency; environmental courts

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