Women UN UDHR

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

Other key standards

Author: Adrienne Stone and Simon Evans
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The Australian Constitution lacks a comprehensive statement of rights. The few rights which have been judicially recognized by the High Court of Australia have typically been narrowly interpreted. One such right is the freedom of political communication, which is a restricted/limited kind of free speech right. Though the early 1990s witnessed several decisions in which the freedom of speech was protected in fairly expansive ways, the doctrine was revised in 1997 due to growing doubts about its “more adventurous applications” within the Court. In Lange, the affirmation of the doctrine was accompanied by an emphasis on the limits imposed on the right by the text and structure of the Constitution, and the afterlife of Lange until Coleman witnessed the failure of all free speech challenges levelled in the High Court of Australia. In this article, Stone and Evans discuss how the decision in Coleman affirms the survival of the freedom of political communication as well as clarifies several aspects of the doctrine. They highlight that the quashing of Coleman’s conviction is reflective of the rejection of arguments about the legitimacy of the State’s endeavour to mandate civility in political communication. They argue that the Judiciary’s decision reveals a preference for public debate which tolerates insult as well as other forms of uncivil expression, and that such a justification “exposes the fragility of the consensus regarding the legitimacy of the implied freedom established in Lange.”

Stone, Adrienne, and Evans, Simon. “Australia: Freedom of Speech and Insult in the High Court of Australia”. International Journal of Constitutional Law 4, no. 4 (2006): 677-688.

Author: Susan Benesch
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“Private social media companies regulate much more speech than any government does, and their platforms are being used to bring about serious harm. Yet companies govern largely on their own, and in secret. To correct this, advocates have proposed that companies follow international human-rights law. That law–by far the world’s best-known rules for governing speech–could improve regulation itself, and would also allow for better transparency and oversight on behalf of billions of people who use social media. This paper argues that for this to work, the law must first be interpreted to clarify how (and whether) each of its provisions are suited to this new purpose. For example, the law provides that speech may be restricted to protect national security, as one of only five permissible bases for limiting speech. Governments, for which international law was written, may regulate on that basis, but not private companies which have no national security to protect. To fill some of the gap, the paper explains and interprets the most relevant provisions of international human-rights law–Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which pertain to freedom of expression–for use by social media companies, in novel detail.”

Benesch, Susan. “But Facebook’s Not a Country: How to Interpret Human Rights Law for Social Media Companies.” Yale Journal on Regulation Online Bulletin 38 (2020): 86-111.

Author: M.G. Wallace
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This article examines the constitutionality of Sedition Laws in the United States and its relation with the freedom of speech and expression. The author also provides an account of the historical underpinnings of Sedition Laws.

Wallace, M. G. "Constitutionality of Sedition Laws." Virginia Law Review 6, no. 6 (1920): 385-99. doi:10.2307/1064269.

Author: Frederick Schauer
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This article unpacks and explains the chilling effect and discusses how uncertainty generally and the chilling effect will affect how various classes of speech are treated.

Frederick Schauer, "Fear, Risk and the First Amendment: Unraveling the Chilling Effect" (1978). Faculty Publications. 879. https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/facpubs/879

Author: Joshua Azriel
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This article, by looking back through almost the last 100 years of American history, shows that the current laws on sedition and free speech in the post-9/11 era parallel those adopted from two other time periods in American history, i.e. World War One and the Cold War. It also argues that changes in current sedition laws are not needed to fight the war on terrorism five years after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Joshua Azriel, "Five Years after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Are New Sedition Laws Needed to Capture Suspected Terrorists in the United States," Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal 6, no. 1 (2006-2007): 1-22

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: Oxford Kashmir Forum, Prof. David Kaye
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This lecture is the sixth to be delivered in a series of lectures which are part of the Oxford Kashmir Forum’s online course on ‘International Human Rights Law and Kashmir: Prospects and Challenges’. In this lecture, Prof. David Kaye discusses the ways in which the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under International Human Rights Law as well as the obligations it imposes on States. In particular, Prof. Kaye emphasizes on the role such laws play in our online lives as well as discusses the nature of the function of the actors who animate the space of internet governance. Recognizing issues of speech and expression as some of the most direct as well as salient issues of law and public policy globally, he provokes his listener to think more deeply about what those issues are as well as who should determine answers to those issues in a democratic world.   

Oxford Kashmir Forum (Prof. David Kaye). “Freedom of Speech and Expression.” 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5YB7y-WWvM.

Author: Walter Berns
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The author analyses the Alien and Sedition Laws in America in the backdrop of Freedom of Press and the Alien and Sedition Laws.

Berns, Walter. "Freedom of the Press and the Alien and Sedition Laws: A Reappraisal." The Supreme Court Review 1970 (1970): 109-59. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3108724.

Author: Projek Dialog and ARTICLE 19
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The objective of this infographic, designed collaboratively by Projek Dialog and ARTICLE 19, is to respond to the “growing demand for clear guidelines to identify ‘hate speech’” and to address the “challenges it poses to human rights”. The infographic primarily endeavours to generate an understanding about the following: 1) what hate speech is, 2) how hate speech which can be restricted can be identified in juxtaposition to protected speech, and 3) the positive measures States and other stakeholders need to take in order to produce a countervailing effect to hate speech. 

Projek Dialog and ARTICLE 19. “Hate Speech: An Infographic”. October 2020. https://projekdialog.com/blog/hate-speech-an-infographic/.