CLD is sometimes asked by governments, campaigners and sometimes intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) to help prepare legislation in areas relating to its expertise. CLD provides technical assistance of this nature, with a view to assisting these stakeholders to prepare legislation which respects constitutional and international human rights standards.
CLD prepared an analysis of Zimbabwe’s Freedom of Information Bill, which was provided to local activists and Members of Parliament in September 2019. CLD’s analysis of the Bill, including an assessment according to the RTI Rating, shows that it only garners 72 points out of a possible 150, just two points more than the current AIPPA, at 70.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa in 2002. After 17 years, the Commission has now decided to update the Declaration and, to this end, the African Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information released a new draft for comments in May 2019. The Centre for Law and Democracy and the Freedom of Expression Hub (FOE-HUB) submitted a detailed Note on the draft Declaration to the Special Rapporteur with a view to ensuring that the final version is fully in line with and that it represents a strong effort to progressively develop established international standards.
The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), working with its local partner, the Myanmar Media Lawyers’ Network (MMLN), and other local organisations, has hosted a number of discussions and workshops on legal provisions in Myanmar which unduly limit freedom of expression in the digital space.
The workshops provided opportunities for legal experts, senior journalists, leading civil society organisations and members of the MPC to discuss the need for further law reform efforts. Article 66(d) of the 2013 Telecommunications Law, which criminalises not only defamation but also a range of other often vague types of statements disseminated via a “telecommunications network”, was a particular focus due not only to the current arrests but also because of the number of other cases which have been launched in recent months.
The Myanmar Media Lawyers’ Network (MMLN) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) hosted a workshop on 29 November to discuss changes to the country’s broadcasting framework, and how they will impact freedom of expression in the country. The workshop, which was carried out with support from International Media Support (IMS), featured a robust discussion about the country’s new Broadcasting Law and how it measures up against international standards.
“The new Broadcasting Law is a very significant development in terms of democratising the media landscape in Myanmar,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “It is very good to see that the MMLN is getting involved in this issue, given the centrality of broadcast regulation to a healthy media environment.”
CLD and the Philippine Access to Information Network prepared draft amendments to the Second Consultation Draft of the Public Communications Policy of the Asian Development Bank, which was released in November 2010. The proposed amendments have been provided to the ADB and will be circulated to members of the Board of Directors, which is due to consider the policy at its meeting on 16 February 2011 (Link to Second Consultation Draft).
In its General Assembly Resolution AG/RES. 2514 (XXXIX-O/09), the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) requested the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs to convene a Group of Experts on Access to Information to prepare a model law on access to information for the Americas. CLD was invited to participate in the Group of Experts, and attended several meetings in Washington, before the final draft was officially presented to the OAS on 28 April 2010.
At the request of the joint civil society/government working group preparing the draft Freedom of Information Bill for Sierra Leone, CLD provided detailed legal drafting amendment suggestions on the draft Bill. The official draft Bill, published in May 2010, is available here.
At the invitation of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development and the Mongolia National Broadcaster (official State broadcaster), CLD worked with a group of local stakeholders in Mongolia to prepare a draft Broadcasting Law for consideration by the local authorities.