Scope of Freedom of Expression

This Module focuses on the extent and limits of freedom of expression under international human rights treaties beginning with the ICCPR, as well as under the regional human rights conventions of Europe, the Americas and Africa. The Module includes extensive readings and jurisprudence on the three-part test, the legal test that governs in many countries around the world the legitimate restrictions to freedom of expression

10 items found, showing 1 - 10

Legitimate Restrictions to Freedom of Expression: Three Part Test

Author: IACtHR
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“[T]he Government of Costa Rica […] submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights […] an advisory opinion request relating to the interpretation of Articles 13 [Freedom of thought and expression] and 29 [Restrictions Regarding Interpretation] of the American Convention on Human Rights […] as they affect the compulsory membership in an association prescribed by law for the practice of journalism […]. The request also sought the Court's interpretation relating to the compatibility of Law No. 4420 of September 22, 1969, Organic Law of the Colegio de Periodistas (Association of Journalists) of Costa Rica […], with the provisions of the aforementioned articles.”

IACtHR, Compulsory Membership in an Association Prescribed by Law for the Practice of Journalism. Advisory Opinion OC-5/85. Series A, No. 5. 13 November 1985

Author: A. G. Noorani
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This book review discusses the theory of Contempt of Court, in the context of its removal from the English courts, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Australian High Courts, and the Tasmanian case of a newspaper called The Mercury, and concludes with the note that though our Constitution adopted British law as frozen in 1950, it has failed to since then keep up with the developments in it, or with its spirit.

Noorani, A. G. "Contempt of Court and Free Speech." Economic and Political Weekly 36, no. 20 (2001): 1693-694. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4410630.

Author: Soli J. Sorabjee
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This article discusses the importance of the freedom of expression and the freedom of press in the Indian context, and in the specific context of the constitution and the restrictions it allows to be placed on it. It then discusses censorship as an inevitable result of this, focusing on prior restraint and traces the history of legislation and cases on these principles, from the perspective of both civil and criminal law, and concludes with recommendations on changes which are needed, mentioning the law of contempt specifically.

Sorabjee, S. J. (1994). Freedom of expression and censorship: Some aspects of the indian experience. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 45(4), 327-342. http://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/nilq45&i=337

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. The Foundational Course will include four main segments. It will first survey the thinking of 19th century and contemporary political theorists, Judges in the early years of the twentieth century, and economists to discover why freedom of expression and information matters, and the values and principles that are established through free speech. The second will review the emergence of an international system of protection for freedom of expression, including the international and regional institutions and standards, and the role of international courts. The third and fourth class will focus on the scope of freedom of expression and on its legitimate limits. We will provide answer two key questions: What kind of speech is protected under international standards? What kind of speech may be restricted by Governments and how can it be legally restricted?

Author: UNESCO
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"The Freedom of Expression Toolkit is UNESCO’s contribution to freedom of expression and it is written with upper high school students in mind. The Toolkit covers the major concepts and issues and it is written in an easy to understand, conversational manner.” Among other, it aims to answer the following questions: What is freedom of Expression and why does it matter? When is freedom of expression at risk? What are the conditions needed for freedom of expression? What is the special role of journalism and journalists in freedom of expression? What about freedom of expression online? What are the limitations?" 

Lim, Ming-Kuok. Freedom of expression toolkit: a guide for students. Paris: UN, UNESCO, 2013 

Author: S. P. Sathe
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This article is a comment on the EMS Namboodiripad v. T N Nambiar case (ref. ), which also discusses the evolution of the Indian law of Contempt, the influence of the English law on it, and suggests that the power of the courts under ‘contempt’ should be redefined in the context of ‘reasonableness’, and says that the dicta of the chief justice insofar as it restricts the restriction on freedom of expression only to cases where contempt is ‘manifest’ or ‘substantial’ is a definite improvement. It notes that the law of contempt is necessary, but should be redefined and limited to cases where it actually interferes with the administration of justice.

Sathe, S. P. "Freedom of Speech and Contempt of Court." Economic and Political Weekly 5, no. 42 (1970): 1741-742. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4360620

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: Amnesty International
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This short course 'Human Rights: The Right to Freedom of Expression' created by Amnesty International "will equip you with the knowledge to understand and claim your right to freedom of expression, and the skills and confidence to take action to defend it. Learn from the experts at Amnesty International how to claim and defend your rights in this human rights course. You will be challenged to think critically and devise effective actions to defend the human rights of others. You will be able to adapt the human rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly to real life situations and come face-to-face with human rights activists on the front line of human rights defense." "The course ran from 17 November to 8 December 2015 and remains online for you to browse or refresh your knowledge in archive mode."

Author: CIMA, Special Rapporteur Edison Lanza, UNESCO and Silvia Chocarro
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“The report aims to translate in a concise and clear manner more than 70 years of international jurisprudence on freedom of expression, and outline a road map for judicial operators so that they can make decisions that are in line with international standards.” Available only in Spanish.

Introduction to Human Rights | Lesson 9: "Freedom of Expression"

Author: Tomás Vial, MOOC Chile
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This lesson is part of an International Human Rights free online course created by the MOOC Chile project. The lesson answer the questions: What is freedom of expression? And why it is an important right? "In this class [they] first refer to the sources of freedom of speech in international human rights law as well as to which aspects are covered by it. [They] will also explain which types of discourse are protected and which not. Then [they] will summarize the main justifications given for protecting speech freedom. After that, [they] will deal with the main restrictions to which the freedom of expression may be subjected."