Monday, September 21, 2015

New International Media Law Database

The International Press Institute (IPI), a Vienna-based global network of editors, media executives and journalists, has launched a database that catalogues legal provisions affecting freedom of the press and expression in European countries and some Caribbean nations as part of its initial rollout:
"IPI Director of Press Freedom Programmes Scott Griffen said the database aimed in part to expose the failure of states, including a majority in Europe, to incorporate international standards on freedom of expression in law."

" 'The past years and decades have seen the development, on the part of international human rights bodies and courts, of clear and important standards when it comes to respecting freedom of expression. But our research shows that governments, including in Europe, which is generally considered to be a safe haven for free expression, have largely failed to adopt these standards in legislation,' Griffen said."

"He continued: 'In practice, this means that laws that disproportionately restrict freedom of expression, such as criminal defamation laws, not only still exist, but are also still applied against journalists and others. In the case of Europe, it also makes pushing for change in countries elsewhere more challenging. This database, in offering a clear and consolidated source on legislation in effect on a country-by-country basis, seeks to raise awareness about the gap between international standards and the reality on the ground and thereby energise the advocacy needed to close that gap'."
The IPI will eventually expand the geographic and thematic coverage of the database. Right now, the database includes information about national laws dealing with topics ranging from blasphemy to insults to the head of state and defamation of the deceased.

[Source: Library Journal's INFOdocket]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:11 pm

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