Giustiniani, Rubén Héctor v. Y.P.F. S.A (November 10, 2015)
Supreme Court of Argentina
The Argentine Supreme Court ordered YPF (a state-controlled oil company) to disclose an investment agreement it signed with the Chevron Corporation related to extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons. YPF claimed the agreement was protected from public disclosure. The Supreme Court found that despite being statutorily exempt from administrative law requirements in order to facilitate its operations, YPF performs activities of public interest and, thus, cannot deny requests for information unless it demonstrates with sufficient detail the reasons for which disclosure of the requested information would harm a legally protected interest.
YPF asserted that disclosure would harm its legally protected interest in industrial secrets, but the Supreme Court determined that YPF did not sufficiently demonstrate the reasons for which disclosure of the requested information would harm its interest in industrial secrets.
Specifically regarding the industrial/commercial secret exception to public disclosure, the Supreme Court said "the secret can only be justified in order to protect any interest that is equally public, therefore, non-disclosure is only permissible in order to 'ensure respect for the right to reputation of others' or 'the protection of national security, public order or public health or morality.'” Para. 25 (quoting Claude Reyes y otros vs. Chile, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (19 September 2006)).