New International Media Law Database
"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 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.
" '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'."
[Source: Library Journal's INFOdocket]