"The liberty of a nation is preserved not only by the laws but by public information and knowledge as to how they are being administered."

Anders Chydenius on the Freedom of Information

Published: 01.05.2016

Read the original documents!

Anders Chydenius participated actively in the Diet of 1765-66. One of the concrete results of Chydenius’ activities was an extension of the freedom of
the press, which he himself considered to be one of his greatest achievements. The Ordinance on Freedom of Writing and of the Press (1766)
abolished political censorship and gave the public access to government documents. This was the world’s first freedom of information legislation.

Here you can find three documents written by Chydenius in 1765-66, concerning the freedom of the press and freedom of information. Each document is followed by a commentary written by Professor Lars Magnusson. Translations from the original by Peter C. Hogg.

Memorial on the Freedom of Printing (1765)

Report on the freedom of writing and printing (1765)


Additional report on the freedom of writing and printing (1766)



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