Conflict of Rights and Interests

Conflict of rights and interests

International human rights law suggests a “balance of rights” approach to assess the legitimacy of state restriction to freedom of expression. The resources on this Module survey the application of this test to various areas of conflict, such as defamation and national security. Readings cover various national practices, and jurisprudence, along with academic critiques.

7 items found, showing 1 - 7

National Security

Author: Centre for Law and Democracy
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"It is legitimate for states to exempt information whose release would be prejudicial to national security from their disclosure laws. But in order to insure that this exemption is not abused it is important to develop an acceptably narrow definition of what constitutes national security. To this end, the Centre for Law and Democracy has produced a paper examining how national security should be defined in the context of information disclosure. The paper was produced as a contribution to the “Principles on National Security and the Right to Information” currently being developed by the Open Society Initiative."

Centre for Law and Democracy. Defining the Scope of National Security: Issues Paper for the Open Society Justice Initiative National Security Principles Project. May 2011

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
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Here you will find the Syllabus for the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. This course will examine the norms, institutions and forces that altogether have founded a global system of protection for freedom of expression and information. This Advanced  Course will focus on the multiple challenges brought about by the technology revolution of the last two decades. On one hand, it has given the world the means to realize its commitment to freedom of information without frontiers. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. On the other hand, it has also precipitated or heightened a range of normative, regulatory and political issues related to the protection of freedom of expression, on and off line. This course will examine the complex, and often awkward, interplay of global information flows with national jurisdiction and state sovereignty, and what it means for the realization of a borderless vision for the right to freedom of expression.

Author: Laura K. Donoghue
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This article analyses sedition and related laws in the United States of America and the United Kingdom to determine the circumstances under which the interests of the State are secured and the opportunism of terrorist organizations avoided. It argues that the changes in the American or British law that were touted to protect free speech, are more restrictive than is widely understood. The article concludes that the national security exceptions are too broad, and has led to the use of counter-terrorism measures against non-violent opposition.

Laura K. Donoghue, Terrorist Speech and the Future of Free Expression, 27(1) Cardozo Law Review 234 (2005) 

Author: IACmHR, SRFoE Catalina Botero
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“The objective of this publication is to present inter-American jurisprudence that defines the scope and content of this right in a systematic and updated way. Among the most important topics it highlights: the importance, function, and characteristics of the right to freedom of expression, as well as the types of speech protected; the prohibition of censorship and indirect restrictions; the protection of journalists and social communications media; the exercise of freedom of expression by public officials; and freedom of expression in the area of electoral processes.”

OAS, IACmHR, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero. The Inter-American Legal Framework Regarding the Right to Freedom of Expression. OEA/Ser.L/V/II. CIDH/RELE/INF. 2/09. 30 December 2009

Author: Aaron Olaniyi Salau
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October 2016 marked the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights - the first two decades of which the meaning, normative content and scope of the right of access to information guaranteed by article 9 of the Charter were largely unexplored. However, the implementation bodies of the African Charter subsequently have whittled down challenges posed by the narrow formulation of article 9, its claw-back clause and the undemocratic practices of African regimes in relying on vague and widely-drafted laws to deny access to state-held information on grounds of state security. This article examines the methodologies adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to supplement and entrench a substantive right of access to information compatible with international standards in article 9. The article finds that an overhauled article 9 dictates that the right of access to information held by public and private bodies is a fundamental right, indispensable to the health of a democracy and a means of protecting other rights, especially socio-economic rights. The right may in recognised instances be restricted, including on grounds of national security, only as clearly provided by law to serve a legitimate purpose and as necessary in a democratic society. The article proposes that state parties to the African Charter engage with the logic and reasoning of its implementation bodies to adopt measures and align their constitutional frameworks with the fundamental principles of access to information.”

Salau, Aaron Olaniyi. “The right of access to information and national security in the African regional human rights system” African Human Rights Law Journal 17, no. 2 (2017): 367-389

Author: Media Legal Defense Initiative
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"The MLDI Training Manual on Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Online is designed to assist lawyers represent web-based journalists, bloggers and other online media. It comprises a comprehensive overview of international and comparative law on access to the internet, digital privacy and online data protection as well as specific types of speech-related offences online."

Media Legal Defense Initiative.Training Manual on Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Online: Litigating digital rights and online freedom of expression in East, West and Southern Africa (2018)

Author: Media Legal Defence Initiative
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"This manual has been produced as a resource material for training workshops on media and freedom of expression law. It contains resources and background material to help trainers prepare and participants to understand the issues being discussed [...] The manual and training presentations are aimed at an audience of lawyers, with experience of litigation, but not necessarily of media, freedom of expression or human rights law. It covers international and comparative law only, and should be supplemented with relevant national law standards for the country in which they are being used.” 

Media Legal Defence Initiative. Training Manual on international and comparative media and freedom of expression law (2013).