Category Archives: Freedom of Expression

Incitement in media content and political discourse in Member States of the European Union

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a paper that provides a snapshot of manifestations of incitement in media content and political discourse against different groups in EU Member States.

The paper outlines the European and International legal framework governing such cases, substantiated by relevant case law examples. Highlighting that members of minority groups perceive the prevailing social climate as condoning racism, xenophobia and intolerance, the FRA paper underlines the need for EU institutions and Member States to address the effect incitement can have on the population groups it targets.

‘Violence, threats and pressures against journalists and other media actors in the European Union’ 2016

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reports that free and pluralist media is vital to the democratic functioning of the European Union (EU) and its Member States. However, journalists and other media actors in the EU face various challenges, including violence, threats and other forms of pressure, both direct and indirect.

Freedom in the World (Freedom House 2016)

Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s flagship publication, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. Published annually since 1972, the survey ratings and narrative reports on 195 countries and 15 related and disputed territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders.

Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime

The Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime entails an extension of the Cybercrime Convention’s scope, including its substantive, procedural and international cooperation provisions, so as to cover also offences of racist or xenophobic propaganda. Thus, apart from harmonising the substantive law elements of such behaviour, the Protocol aims at improving the ability of the Parties to make use of the means and avenues of international cooperation set out in the Convention (ETS No. 185) in this area.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that creates a public “right of access” to to government-held information. The intent is to allow private individuals and corporations reasonable access to information while minimizing the risk of harm to any entity. The concept was first put forward in 1997, was passed in 2000 and came into full effect in 2005. You can access the official document here.

Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU brings together in a single document the fundamental rights protected in the EU. The Charter contains rights and freedoms under six titles: Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens’ Rights, and Justice. Proclaimed in 2000, the Charter has become legally binding on the EU with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, in December 2009.

You can access the document here.

The European Convention

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights, was opened for signature in Rome on 4 November 1950 and came into force in 1953. It was the first instrument to give effect to certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and make them binding.

Since its adoption in 1950 the Convention has been amended a number of times and supplemented with many rights in addition to those set forth in the original text.

Transfrontier Television

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television was opened for signing on 5 May 1989 by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. It came into force on 1 May 1993. The Protocol amending the Convention was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 September 1998 and was opened for acceptance by the Parties to the present Convention on 1 October 1998. The Protocol takes effect when all the Parties to the current Convention have accepted it or, alternatively, two years after it has been opened for acceptance (i.e., 1 October 2000), unless a State which is a Party to the Convention has lodged an objection to this automatic entry into force. The revised European Convention on Transfrontier Television and its Explanatory Report can be accessed here.