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The right to freedom of expression and access to information in the Inter-American human rights system Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of.

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1 The right to freedom of expression and access to information in the Inter-American human rights system Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

2 PROGRAM The Inter-American human rights system Mandate of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Advances in jurisprudence 1.Prohibition of prior censorship 2.Prohibition of desacato laws 3.Proportionality of subsequent liability 4.Prohibition of indirect restrictions on speech 5.Access to information 6.Violence against media workers Challenges: The hemispheric agenda for the defense of freedom of expression Challenges Inter-American freedom of expression standards 1.Protection of journalists and the fight against impunity: prevention, protection and the pursuit of justiceProtection of journalists and the fight against impunity: prevention, protection and the pursuit of justice 2.Subsequent liabilitySubsequent liability 3.Pluralism and diversity in the democratic debatePluralism and diversity in the democratic debate 4.The right to access to informationThe right to access to information Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

3 The Inter-American human rights system Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

4 Organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System Inter-American Commission Created 1959 American Convention: 1969 American Convention Based in Washington D.C. 7 members – comissioners Commissioners elected by the General Assembly of the OAS Studies cases/situations concerning all OAS member states Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

5 Organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System Functions of the Inter-American Commission – Contentious jurisdiction Individual cases – Cases based on violations of the American Convention on Human Rights – Admissibility and merits phases – Prior exhaustion of domestic remedies is required Precautionary measures – Reports Country reports Thematic reports – Human rights promotion Declarations Press releases Public hearings Rapporteurships Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

6 Organs of the Inter-American human rights system Rapporteurships of the Inter-American Commission – Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression – Womens rights – Migrant workers and their families – Human rights defenders – Indigenous peoples – Persons deprived of their liberty – Afro-descendents and racial discrimination – Rights of the child Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

7 Organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System Inter-American Court Created by the American Convention (1969) Begins functioning 1979 Based in San José, Costa Rica 7 members – judges Judges elected by the states parties to the American Convention on Human Rights Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

8 Organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System Functions of the Inter-American Court – Contentious Jurisdiction Individual cases – Cases based on violations of the American Convention that have been decided by the IACHR – Against the 21 States that have accepted the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court Proceedings before the IACHR must have been exhausted Provisional measures – Advisory opinions Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

9 Legal framework of the inter-American human rights system OAS Charter (1948) OAS Charter American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (1948) American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man American Convention on Human Rights (1969) American Convention on Human Rights – Article 13: Freedom of thought and expression Article 13 – Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression Specialized treaties on: Economic, social and cultural rights Abolition of the death penalty Violence against women Forced disappearance Torture Discrimination against persons with disabilities Jurisprudence of the IACHR and Inter-American Court Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

10 Legal framework of the inter-American human rights system: Article 13 of the American Convention 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression. This right includes freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one's choice. 2. The exercise of the right provided for in the foregoing paragraph shall not be subject to prior censorship but shall be subject to subsequent imposition of liability, which shall be expressly established by law to the extent necessary to ensure: a. respect for the rights or reputations of others; or b. the protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals. […] Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

11 Legal framework of the inter-American human rights system: Article 13 of the American Convention […] 3. The right of expression may not be restricted by indirect methods or means, such as the abuse of government or private controls over newsprint, radio broadcasting frequencies, or equipment used in the dissemination of information, or by any other means tending to impede the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions. 4. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 above, public entertainments may be subject by law to prior censorship for the sole purpose of regulating access to them for the moral protection of childhood and adolescence. 5. Any propaganda for war and any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitute incitements to lawless violence or to any other similar action against any person or group of persons on any grounds including those of race, color, religion, language, or national origin shall be considered as offenses punishable by law. Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

12 Organs of the Inter-American Human Rights system Processing of an individual case before the Inter-American human rights system 1.Petition presented to the IACHR 2.Admissibility phase before IACHR 3.Merits phase before IACHR Possibility of friendly settlement Merits report and period for compliance with recommendations – Publication – Submission to Inter-American Court 4.Case presented to Inter-American Court 5.Public hearing before Inter-American Court 6.Judgment of the Inter-American Court (preliminary objections, merits, reparations and costs) 7.Compliance supervision Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

13 Mandate of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

14 Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Creation – Created by the IACHR in October 1997 – Permanent office with functional independence and its own operational structure Mandate – Stimulate the hemispheric defense of freedom of thought and expression, in light of its fundamental role in the consolidation and development of democratic regimes and in the protection of other human rights Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

15 Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Functions – Individual case system: strategic litigation on matters of freedom of expression in the inter-American system – Precautionary measures – Public hearings – Official visits – Seminars and workshops with strategic actors in the region – Annual report and production of expert knowledge – Statements and special declarations: the bully pulpit Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

16 Advances in Jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS

17 Advances in Jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression 1.Prior censorship is prohibited 2.Prohibition of desacato (contempt) laws 3.Proportionality of subsequent imposition of liability 4.Prohibition on indirect restrictions on freedom of expression 5.Right of access to information 6.Violence against media workers Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

18 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Prior censorship is prohibited – Case of the Last Temptation of Christ (Olmedo Bustos and others) vs. Chile (2001) – Case of Palamara Iribarne vs. Chile (2005) Palamara Iribarne Case Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

19 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Prohibition of desacato (contempt) laws – IACHR, Report on the compatibility of Desacato laws with the American Convention on Human Rights (1994) Violate the Convention per se Unnecessary in a democratic society, disproportionate, and necessarily discourage speech about matters of public interest – Case of Palamara Iribarne vs. Chile (2005) Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

20 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Proportionality of subsequent impositions of liability – Case of Herrera Ulloa vs. Costa Rica (2004) – Case of Ricardo Canese vs. Paraguay (2004) – Case of Kimel vs. Argentina (2008) – Case of Tristán Donoso vs. Panamá (2009) – Case of Usón Ramírez vs. Venezuela (2009) Herrera Ulloa Case Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

21 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Prohibition of indirect restrictions on speech – Advisory Opinion No. 5/85 Compulsory Membership in an Association Prescribed by Law for the Practice of Journalism (Arts. 13 and 29 American Convention on Human Rights) (1985) – Case of Ivcher Bronstein vs. Peru (2001) Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

22 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Access to public information – Case of Claude Reyes and others vs. Chile (2006) – Case of Gomes Lund and others (Guerrilha do Araguaia) vs. Brasil (2010) Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

23 Advances in jurisprudence in the area of freedom of expression Violence against media workers – Violence perpetrated by state agents Case of Carpio Nicolle and others vs. Guatemala (2004) Case of Manuel Cepeda Vargas vs. Colombia (2010) – State responsibility for the actions of third parties: violation of the duty to ensure by aggravating situations of risk Case of Ríos and others vs. Venezuela (2009) Case of Perozo and others vs. Venezuela (2009) Manuel Cepeda Vargas Case Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

24 Challenges: A hemispheric agenda for the defense of freedom of expression A hemispheric agenda for the defense of freedom of expression Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

25 Continuing challenges to free speech in the Americas 1.Protecting journalists and promoting accountability for crimes committed against media workers in the exercise of their profession Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

26 Continuing challenges to free speech in the Americas 2.From critic to criminal: the need to eliminate laws that criminalize speech and promote proportional impositions of subsequent liability Desacato and other criminal provisions that protect privacy and reputation Defamation of religions, symbols and institutions Use of criminal provisions on terrorism or treason Criminalization of social protest Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

27 Continuing challenges to free speech in the Americas 3. The many faces of censorship – Direct censorship – Indirect censorship Arbitrary allocation of frequencies, licenses and government advertising Arbitrary use of regulatory and auditing authority Creation of an environment of hostility Failure to control abuses by private parties Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

28 Continuing challenges to free speech in the Americas 4. State secrets: the right to access to information and to habeas data Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

29 Continuing challenges to free speech in the Americas 5.Pluralism and diversity in the marketplace of ideas Antimonopoly laws: to avoid concentration in the ownership and control of communications media The allocation of TV and radio licenses and frequencies should be inclusive and promote diversity and pluralism Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

30 Inter-American freedom of expression standards: Fundamental characteristics Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

31 Freedom of expression in the Inter-American system: fundamental characteristics Freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds – Orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one's choice Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

32 Freedom of expression in the Inter-American system: fundamental characteristics Dual dimensions of the right to freedom of expression – Individual Dimension – The right of every person to share their thoughts, ideas and information – Social/Collective Dimension – The right of society to seek and receive information and ideas from others and to be well informed Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

33 Freedom of expression in the Inter-American system: fundamental characteristics Functions of Freedom of Expression – Protects the right of every individual to think for themselves and share information and ideas with others – Indispensable requirement for the consolidation, functioning and preservation of democratic regimes – Crucial tool for the exercise of other fundamental rights Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

34 Freedom of expression in the Inter-American system: fundamental characteristics Speech subject to heightened protection under the right to freedom of expression –Political speech and speech about issues of public interest –Speech regarding public officials in exercise of their duties and candidates for public office –Speech that expresses essential elements of personal identity or dignity Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

35 Freedom of expression in the Inter-American system: fundamental characteristics Freedom of expression is not an absolute right Permissible restrictions: Right of reply of persons injured by inaccurate or offensive statements (art. 14) Should be regulated by law and meet the requirements of art Subsequent liability (art 13.2), which must: Be established by law The law must be clear and precise 2.Pursue a legitimate objective Respect for the rights or reputations of others Protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals 3.Be necessary to meet the objective pursued Narrowly tailored to achieve the objective Proportional to the end pursued Interfere to the least extent possible with the exercise of freedom of expression Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

36 Inter-American freedom of expression standards: 1) Protecting journalists and combating impunity: prevention, protection and the pursuit of justice Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

37 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Violence against journalists – The murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to journalists, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. – These crimes have a chilling effect on other journalists and citizens in general, because they generate fear of denouncing abuses of all kinds, restricting the free flow of information. Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

38 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Obligation to protect – Communicators have the right to be protected by the State in circumstances that may threaten their safety, their physical integrity, or their lives for reasons related to the exercise of their profession The State must abstain from favoring or promoting this vulnerability The State must adopt necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or protect the rights of the people at risk These measures should include devoting sufficient resources and attention to preventing attacks on journalists and others exercising their right to freedom of expression – IACHR, Case of Luiz Gonzalo Richard Vélez Restrepo and family vs. Colombia (2010) Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

39 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Obligation to Respect Obligation to respect: violence perpetrated by State agents – Case of Carpio Nicolle and others vs. Guatemala (2004) Case of Carpio Nicolle and others vs. Guatemala – Case of Manuel Cepeda Vargas vs. Colombia (2010) Case of Manuel Cepeda Vargas vs. Colombia Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

40 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Case of Carpio Nicolle vs. Guatemala (2004) – Extrajudicial execution of Jorge Carpio Nicolle, a critical journalist and politician, in 1993 Perpetrators were members of Civil Self-Defense Patrols (PAC), a civilian group created, armed and controlled by the Guatemalan Army The Court concluded that the murder was politically motivated Carpio Nicolles newspaper and political party disappeared in the years following his death – The Guatemalan State accepted responsibility for violating the rights to life and freedom of expression, among others Text of the judgment Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

41 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Case of Manuel Cepeda Vargas vs. Colombia (2010) – Extrajudicial execution of Manuel Cepeda, a journalist, senator and political leader, in 1994 Direct perpetrators and masterminds were members of Colombian army Patriotic Union political movement disappeared as a result of the violence against its members and leaders – Obligation to respect was violated as a result of the direct participation of state agents in the assassination – Obligation to ensure was violated because the state did not guarantee conditions of safety for a political opposition that was in a situation of vulnerability Text of the judgment Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

42 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Obligation to Ensure – Obligation to ensure: State responsibility for the actions of third parties Case of Ríos et al. vs. Venezuela (2009) Case of Ríos et al. vs. Venezuela Case of Perozo et al. vs. Venezuela (2009) Case of Perozo et al. vs. Venezuela Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

43 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Case of Ríos et al. vs. Venezuela (2009) – Diverse actions of public and private actors limited the journalistic work of employees of RCTV television network Government rhetoric in opposition to the station, in an environment of political polarization, was inconsistent with the States duty to sure Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

44 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Case of Perozo et al. vs. Venezuela (2009) – Obstruction of journalist work, including through acts of violence by private actors, against employees of the Globovision television network Government rhetoric in opposition to the station, in an environment of political polarization, was inconsistent with the States duty to sure State also failed to meet its duty to investigate the acts of violence against the journalists Text of the judgment Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

45 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Obligation to investigate, prosecute and punish – The lack of investigation and prosecution of those responsible by the State gives rise to international responsibility -IACHR, Caso Héctor Félix Miranda vs. México (1999) -IACHR, Caso Víctor Manuel Oropeza y otros vs. México (1999) – The chilling effect of violence can only be avoided through decisive action by the state to punish those responsible – States must send society a clear message that grave violations against freedom of expression will not be tolerated. The state must: Condemn these attacks Investigate them promptly and effectively in order to duly sanction those responsible Provide compensation to the victims Inform the public on a regular basis about the proceedings Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

46 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Journalists who cover armed conflict, emergencies or politically polarized situations – It is part of the field of journalistic activity covered by the right to freedom of expression to visit and document communities affected by armed conflict They are protected by freedom of expression – Members of the press operating in conflict conditions are entitled to special protections from the State, even if the conflict involves unlawful armed group It is not enough to order measures of protection; an effective, coherent and consistent implementation of the order is also required IACHR, Case of Luiz Gonzalo Richard Vélez Restrepo and family vs. Colombia (2010) IACHR, Case of Narciso González Medina vs. Dominican Republic (2010) Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

47 Protecting journalists and combating impunity: Inter-American legal standards Responsibility of media outlets – Media owners should be encouraged to provide appropriate support to journalists engaged in investigative journalism (2003 Joint Declaration of the Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression ) Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

48 Inter-American freedom of expression standards: 2) Subsequent imposition of liability Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

49 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Criminal sanctions – Herrera Ulloa v. Costa Rica (2004) – Ricardo Canese v. Paraguay (2004) – Palamara v. Chile (2005) – Kimel v. Argentina (2008) – Tristán Donoso v. Panama (2009) – Case of Usón Ramírez v. Venezuela (2009) Civil sanctions – Tristán Donoso v. Panama Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

50 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Permissible limitations on freedom of expression under the American Convention Subsequent liability permitted in order to protect rights and reputation of others (art. 13.2), but:13.2 Sanctions should be civil in nature when matters of public interest are involved Actual malice standard should apply Party alleging harm bears the burden of proof Exceptio veritatis absolute defense Opinions cannot be subject to liabilty Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

51 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards 3-part test for assessing the permissibility of sanctions under Art 13.2:13.2 Established by law The law must be clear and precise Pursue a legitimate objective Legitimate objectives: respect for the rights or reputations of others, the protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals Necessary to meet the objective pursued Proportional to the end pursued, interfering to the least extent possible with the exercise of freedom of expression Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

52 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Criminal sanctions – Struck down in all cases in which criminal sanctions subjected to examination of Inter-American Court – Criminal sanctions can only be employed in exceptional cases due to chilling effect on free speech Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

53 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Criminal sanctions found to violate freedom of expression by Inter-American Court: – Herrera Ulloa v. Costa Rica (2004) Herrera Ulloa v. Costa Rica – Ricardo Canese v. Paraguay (2004) Ricardo Canese v. Paraguay – Kimel v. Argentina (2008) Kimel v. Argentina – Tristán Donoso v. Panama (2009) Tristán Donoso v. Panama – Usón Ramírez v. Venezuela (2009) Usón Ramírez v. Venezuela Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

54 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Herrera Ulloa v. Costa Rica (2004) – Criminal defamation conviction against journalist for reporting on alleged acts of corruption by public official – Inter-American Court found that the conviction was disproportionate and violated freedom of expression, and ordered the conviction to be annulled Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

55 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Ricardo Canese v. Paraguay (2004) – Criminal slander conviction against presidential candidate for alleging opposing candidate had colluded with former dictator – Inter-American Court found that the consequences of the criminal proceedings (including a prohibition to leave the country) violated the victims freedom of expression – Court emphasized importance of uninhibited debate about matters of public interest Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

56 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Kimel v. Argentina (2008) – Conviction for falsely imputing criminal behavior against historian for suggesting judge failed to adequately investigate massacre – Inter-American Court found that criminal conviction was disproportionate and declared that legal provision on applied violated freedom of expression – Argentina reformed its Criminal Code in compliance with system Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

57 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Tristán Donoso v. Venezuela (2009) – Defamation conviction against lawyer for declaring that a public official had recorded and disseminated his telephone conversations – Inter-American Court found that conviction was unnecessary in a democratic society and violated victims freedom of expression – Inter-American Court also referred to the need for proportional civil sanctions Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

58 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Usón Ramírez v. Venezuela (2009) – Conviction for slander against the Armed Forces for expressing critical opinions regarding the institutions response to the case of a group of soldiers injured while detained in a punishment cell – Inter-American Court found that conviction was unnecessary and disproportionate, and declared that the legal provision applied violated freedom of expression Text of the judgment Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

59 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Considerations on civil sanctions – Proportionality of civil sanctions Should not be so large as to exert a chilling effect on freedom of expression Should be designed to restore the reputation harmed, not to punish the defendant Pecuniary awards should be strictly proportionate to the actual harm caused and the law should prioritize the use of a range of non-pecuniary remedies Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

60 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards Considerations on civil sanctions – Tristan Donoso v. Panama – Fear of a civil penalty can be equally or more intimidating and inhibiting for the exercise of freedom of expression than a criminal punishment, given its potential to compromise ones personal and family life and induce self-censorship Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

61 Subsequent imposition of liability: Inter-American legal standards For more information: IACHR Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression: The Inter-American Legal Framework regarding the Right to Freedom of Expression Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

62 Inter-American freedom of expression standards: 3) Pluralism and diversity in the democratic debate Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

63 Pluralism and diversity: Inter-American legal standards Anti-monopoly laws – Monopolies or oligopolies in the ownership and control of the communication media must be subject to anti-trust laws, as they conspire against democracy by limiting the plurality and diversity which ensure the full exercise of peoples right to information. – States have the obligation to prevent public and private monopolies in the ownership and control of media outlets Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

64 Pluralism and diversity: Inter-American legal standards Broadcasting regulations Should be foreseeable and provide legal certainty to those who hold or acquire a license Allocation of licenses and frequencies: Open, public and transparent processes Processes governed by clear and pre-established rules Requirements should be strictly necessary, fair and equitable Technical organ independent from the government, subject to due process guarantees and judicial control Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

65 Pluralism and diversity: Inter-American legal standards Broadcasting regulations Should ensure equal access to frequencies and greater media diversity Anti-monopoly laws are not sufficient Should be part of an active policy of inclusion that tends to reduce existing inequality Special rules to permit access for groups traditionally marginalized from the media marketplace Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

66 Pluralism and diversity: Inter-American legal standards Community broadcasting Community radio and television stations serve a fundamental role in democracies in the Americas Normative framework around community broadcasting should: Recognize the particular characteristics of these media outlets Provide for simply procedures for obtaining licenses Not include overly demanding technical requirements that have the affect of impeding access as a practical matter Allow for the use of advertising as a means of financing Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

67 Pluralism and diversity: Inter-American legal standards For more information: IACHR Special Rapporteurship on Freedom of Expression: Freedom of Expression Standards for Free and Inclusive Broadcasting Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

68 Inter-American freedom of expression standards: 4) The right to access to information Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

69 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards What is it? The obligation of the State to allow citizens access to information in its power; or, the right of citizens to obtain information in the States possession Where is it established? Article 13 of the American Convention Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

70 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards Functions of access to information A crucial tool for controlling State affairs and public administration, as well as monitoring corruption A tool for citizen participation in politics through the informed exercise of political rights A tool for learning the scope of our rights and exercising them A tool for the fulfillment of the social rights of excluded or marginalized sectors of society Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

71 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards What information is covered? Information under the custody, administration or control of the State Information that the State produces or is obligated to produce Information under the control of those who administer public funds and services, exclusively with regard to such funds and services Information that the State captures or is obligated to capture in carrying out its functions Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

72 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards Who can exercise the right? All persons have the right to request access to information. It is not necessary to demonstrate a direct interest in order to obtain information under State control, unless a legitimate restriction applies. Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

73 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards Who must ensure the right? Public authorities in all branches of government and autonomous government agencies Those who carry out public functions, provide public services or execute public funds in the name of the State Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

74 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards Underlying principles Principle of maximum disclosure The right of access to information is the rule and secrecy the exception Burden of proof on the State when limits on this right are established Preeminence of this right in case of doubt Principle of Good Faith Those who interpret the law should ensure the strict application of this right Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

75 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards State obligations: 1.Obligation to offer a legal recourse that satisfies this right to all persons without the necessity of manifesting a direct interest 2.Obligation to respond in a timely, complete, and accessible manner to requests 3.Obligation to provide an adequate and effective legal remedy for reviewing denials of requests for information 4.Obligation of active transparency 5.Obligation to produce or gather information 6.Obligation to create a culture of transparency 7.Obligation of adequate implementation 8.Obligation to adjust domestic legislation Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

76 Access to Information: Inter-American legal standards Permissible Restrictions Exceptional nature: principle of maximum disclosure Art of the American Convention13.2 Established by law The law must be clear and precise Pursue a legitimate objective Legitimate objectives: respect for the rights or reputations of others, the protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals Necessary to meet the objective pursued Proportional to the end pursued, interfering to the least extent possible with the exercise of freedom of expression Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

77 Access to Information: an emblematic case Case of Claude Reyes vs. Chile (2006): Facts – Environmental activists asked the State for information about a contract to carry out a deforestation project – Without providing a reasoned response, the State agency did not release a large portion of the information requested – The citizens filed an application for protection before national courts alleging the violation of their constitutional right to access to information – The application was dismissed by the Chilean courts, which considered it clearly groundless Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Condor River, Chile

78 Access to Information: an emblematic case Case of Claude Reyes vs. Chile: Conclusions of the Court – Art. 13 of the Convention protects the right to access to information – Chile violated article 13 of the American Convention for failing to guarantee the right to access to information The refusal to provide the information was not based on a law, and the State did not prove that the refusal responded to a purpose allowed by the American Convention – Chile has the obligation to provide the requested information and adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the protection of the right to access to information Text of the judgment Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

79 Access to Information Inter-American legal standards: human rights violations Access to information on human rights violations IACHR, Jose Miguel Gudiel Alvarez et al. (Diario Militar) vs. Guatemala (2010) Gomes Lund et al. (Guerrilha do Araguaia) vs. Brazil (2010)Gomes Lund et al. (Guerrilha do Araguaia) vs. Brazil Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

80 Access to Information Inter-American legal standards: human rights violations Gomes Lund et al. (Guerrilha do Araguaia) vs. Brazil (2010) Forced disappearance of over 70 persons by the Brazilian Army between 1972 and 1975 Inter-American Court found a violation of article 13 because the Army failed to provide the information requested by the judicial authorities and the victims relatives Text of the judgment Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

81 Access to Information Inter-American legal standards: human rights violations Access to information on human rights violations Should be gathered, preserved and systematized Can never be denied to a judicial authority Cannot remain privileged for reasons of national security The concept of national security should be interpreted through a democratic perspective Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

82 Access to Information Inter-American legal standards: human rights violations Access to information on human rights violations When it comes to a punishable act, the decision to qualify the information as secret cannot depend exclusively on the state organ to which the commission of the illegal act is attributed. The State cannot allege a lack of proof of the existence of the documents It must justify the failure to provide them, demonstrating that it has adopted all measures at its disposal to establish that the requested information does not in fact exist Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

83 Access to information: Inter-American legal standards For more information: IACHR Special Rapporteurship on Freedom of Expression: The Inter-American Legal Framework regarding the Right to Access to Information Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

84 Thank You Please complete the evaluation Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


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