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Northern Illinois University Law Review Online Supplement


The Illinois Freedom of Information Act was amended in 2009 to avail a greater level of government transparency. The amendments to the Act have given Illinois some of the transparency the Legislature sought to provide, however, there are some issues with the administrative remedy which have prevented full openness of government information as envisioned. The administrative remedies created to provide oversight of government compliance with the Act have not fully fulfilled their role and reform is needed. This article analyzes the circumstances surrounding the application of the Act as it relates to the public’s interaction with law enforcement. Specifically, this article examines how activists and journalists applied the Act to resolve inconsistent police actions in the wake of the deaths of Laquan McDonald and Molly Young, along with discussing the application of the Act with the accountability sought by the Edgar County Watchdogs government oversight organization. This article discusses the dynamics of the current Freedom of Information Act in Illinois, specifies examples of how the application of the Act has affected requestors in the law enforcement context, and proposes solutions to gain the greater level of transparency that the Act intended. Accountability of government is made possible through transparency. Making the changes called for in this article will allow Illinois to become a leader in transparency and an example for our nation to follow.

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College of Law



Original Citation

Joshua Jenkins, Strengthening the Illinois Freedom of Information Act: Affording the Administrative Enforcement Necessary for Government Transparency and Accountability, 14 N. Ill. Univ. L. Rev. Online Supplement 1 (2024).