CLD, IMS Launch Briefing Notes on Freedom of Expression


The Canada-based Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and International Media Support (IMS) in Denmark are set to launch 12 briefing notes which will centre on issues of freedom of expression.

The twelve briefing notes are deeply rooted in themes such as restrictions on freedom of expression, regulation of broadcasting, criminal content restrictions and digital rights. The briefing notes aim to provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject. The briefing notes have been designed to be easily accessible to all audiences, even those who have no training or experience in law but also provide readers with fairly in-depth knowledge about freedom of expression issues. On the other hand, the notes will also prove useful to advanced readers because they provide a summary of key standards which will be useful to them.  The notes are said to be targeted at anyone who is interested in understanding the concepts of freedom of expression, as they provide a quick reference to the main international standards governing the right to freedom of expression.

This is as part of CLD and IMS collaboration to support Myanmar’s democratic transition. According to Esben Harboe, Programme Manager for IMS’ work in Myanmar, “There is a strong demand in Myanmar for easy access to information on international standards related to freedom of expression, and in this compilation developed by experts from CLD you will find it all. It is accessible and free of charge to those who hold an interest in these topics”

The briefing reports have been printed in English, Burmese and hard copies are being distributed to government officials, journalists, civil society activists and other stakeholders around Myanmar. Starting from February 1, 2015, New Light of Myanmar, a national daily newspaper will publish the full length of a serialized version of the briefing reports.

Each individual Briefing Note addresses a different thematic freedom of expression issue. The first, perhaps predictably, is titled Freedom of Expression as a Human Right, while the second examines the permissible scope of restrictions on freedom of expression under international law. Areas of media regulation, including print, broadcast and public service media, journalists, media diversity and independent regulation are the focuses of many of the briefing notes. This reflects the central role media regulation plays both in terms of guaranteeing freedom of expression and in the legal frameworks found in democracies relating to freedom of expression.

The project is carried out with funding from the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.