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Freedom of Expression and Opinion

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by

Sadaf Baig

on 29 May 2015

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Transcript of Freedom of Expression and Opinion

All images used in this file are credited to the artists' whose signatures appear at the bottom of each illustration.
What is freedom of expression & opinion
Various countries have their own interpretation of the Article 19 in their constitution
One Article to rule them all....
The limitations on free speech
Image from IRHR curriculum by David Souter
How does the UDHR matter in the larger scheme of things?
Freedom of Expression and Opinion
The framing, the debate, the challenges and solutions
The framework in Asian Context
Frank La Rue
Former UNSR FoE
The general principle for interpreting the application of restrictions on freedom of expression should be that any such limitations are:

a) Articulated in law

b) In clear pursuit of the goals (a and/or b) set out in clause 3 of Article 19 of the ICCPR

c) “Necessary and proportionate” for that purpose

d) Transparent and subject to appeal.
The 'test' for limitations
Article 19, ICCPR

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to
certain restrictions
, but these shall only be such as are
provided by law
and are
necessary
:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the
protection of national security or of public order
(ordre public), or of
public health
or
morals.
Even the Article of Power has to be abide by some rules The ICCPR defines two basis of restrictions
UDHR
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 19, ICCPR
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the
protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 19, Constitution of Pakistan: Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any
reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, or incitement to an offence.
CEDAW, CR & other
rights arrangements
Regional rights
conventions
THE SEDITION ACT
MALAYSIA
Pakistan Electronic Crime Prevention Bill, 2015
Different laws enacted to impose 'legalized' limitations on free speech
What do we see in practice?
Different attempts at censorship
The role of the internet.
The expansion of space for expression
- Increased access
- Chance of anonymity
- Access to diversity of opinion
- Access to information
- Ease of political expression
The challenge?
The Internet is fast becoming a heavily regulated place
Is FoE threatened only by governments?
Or are there other forces that threaten it?
The question of power
Full transcript