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

Blasphemy and related

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: Centre for Law and Democracy and International Media Support
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“This series of Briefing Notes is designed to give readers an understanding of the key international legal standards that apply in the context of freedom of expression. They are aimed at an audience which does not necessarily have a deep understanding of freedom of expression issues, but they also aim to be of interest and relevance to more sophisticated freedom of expression observers and practitioners. Thus, while the Briefing Notes are designed to be broadly accessible, they also provide readers with fairly in-depth knowledge about freedom of expression issues. Each individual Briefing Note addresses a different thematic freedom of expression issue. The first, perhaps predictably, is titled Freedom of Expression as a Human Right, while the second looks at the permissible scope of restrictions on freedom of expression under international law. Several of the Briefing Notes focus on different areas of media regulation, including print, broadcast and public service media, journalists, media diversity and independent regulation. This reflects the central role media regulation plays both in terms of guaranteeing freedom of expression and in the legal frameworks found in democracies relating to freedom of expression. There are also Briefing Notes on both criminal and civil restrictions on freedom of expression, as well as on the right to information (or freedom of information) and digital rights. In addition to providing substantive guidance in the relevant thematic area, the Briefing Notes contain a number of pithy quotes from leading sources. The idea is to provide readers with quick access to ‘quotable quotes’ for possible reuse in their work. Each Note also contains a section at the end on further resources, for readers who want to probe the subject more deeply.”

Centre for Law and Democracy and International Media Support. “Freedom of Expression Briefing Note Series”. 2014.….

Author: UN Human Rights Committee
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The UN Human Rights Committee adopted (102nd Session) General Comment 34 on States parties' obligations under Article 19 of the ICCPR: Freedoms of opinion and expression (CCPR/C/GC/34). The General Comment provides guidance to States on what the freedoms of opinion and expression mean in practice. Among others, the General Comment refers to: Freedom of expression and the media; Right of access to information; Freedom of expression and political rights; The application of article 19 (3); Limitative scope of restrictions on freedom of expression in certain specific areas; The relationship between articles 19 and 20.

UN, Human Rights Committee. General Comment No. 34. CCPR/C/GC/34. 12 September 2011

Author: Meghan Fischer
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“In May 2019, the United Nations Secretary-General introduced the U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, an influential campaign that poses serious risks to religious and political minorities because its definition of hate speech parallels elements common to blasphemy laws. U.N. human rights entities have denounced blasphemy laws because they are vague, broad, and prone to arbitrary enforcement, enabling the authorities to use them to attack religious minorities, political opponents, and people who have minority viewpoints. Likewise, the Strategy and Plan of Action’s definition of hate speech is ambiguous and relies entirely on subjective interpretation, opening the door to arbitrary and malicious accusations and prosecutions. The campaign gives cover to countries that want to continue their blasphemy laws—under the guise of banning hate speech—with the endorsement of the United Nations. Indeed, examples of enforcement of hate speech laws in Indonesia, Russia, North Macedonia, and Denmark reveal that countries use these laws, just as they use blasphemy laws, to punish the expression of minority viewpoints. This Article is the first to highlight the dangers posed to religious and political minorities by the U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which will only become more influential within the United Nations and across U.N. Member States the longer it is left unchecked. This Article shows human rights advocates and Member States that support minority rights why they must immediately denounce and call for the revocation of the campaign.”

Fischer, Meghan. “Hate Speech Laws and Blasphemy Laws: Parallels Show Problems with the U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech”. Emory International Law Review 35(2) (2021): 177-218.

Author: UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression
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Joint Declaration on Defamation of Religions, and Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Extremism Legislation.

UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression. Joint Declaration on Defamation of Religions, and Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Extremism Legislation, December 10, 2008.

Author: Humanists International
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As the American Humanist Association noted while launching the 10th Annual Freedom of Thought Report, “The 2021 Freedom of Thought report details the risks faced by nonreligious individuals around the world. The focus is on state-imposed discrimination, defined as systemic, legal, or official forms of restrictions on freedom of thought, belief, and expression. The report sharply criticizes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as other countries, for grave violations against the rights of nonreligious people, including the enforcement of blasphemy laws, religious or ideological indoctrination in schools, and more. The 2021 report includes consideration of recent developments in Myanmar and Uruguay as well.”

Humanists International. “The Freedom of Thought Report 2021: Key Countries Edition”. 2021.

Author: Freemuse
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“In the State of Artistic Freedom report – a research publication produced annually – Freemuse provides an analytical examination of violations to the right to freedom of artistic expression documented through 2020 and present some of the most prevailing restrictions. This report is based on the analyses of 978 incidents where this right was violated, documented in 89 countries and online. In addition to statistical data, Freemuse also utilises qualitative interviews with 70 artists and relevant experts, providing personal experiences, reflections and insights about the limitations put on artistic freedom. Aiming to illustrate varying problems and obstacles artists face in different parts of the world, Freemuse also provides analysis of the state of artistic freedoms in 15 countries: Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Kenya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States of America. The report demonstrates that although artistic expression has been under attack by different actors (including political and religious groups, social media platforms and private individuals), different government authorities instigated violations in 60 percent of documented cases. This data illustrates that governments and state-funded bodies remain the biggest threat to artistic expression, as well as that nationalist and populist authorities stay determined to silence varying ways of voicing political dissent.”

Freemuse. “The State of Artistic Freedom 2021”. 2021.