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Awareness Raising

Lebanon: Right to Information or Freedom of Information, 9-10 December 2013

The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik hosted a conference on the right to information to mark its 25th anniversary. Among the attendees was Mr. Chakib Kortbawi, Lebanon’s Minister of Justice. CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas delivered a talk on the right to information as a human right.

Mongolia: National Media Conference, 29 October 2013

This conference aimed at applying UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators to the Mongolian framework, in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Michael Karanicolas was invited as the expert on broadcasting, and delivered a series of presentations on that subject.
Click here to see slides on International Standards for Media Governance
Click here to see slides on Media Transparency, Ethics, and Responsibility
Click here to see slides on the Concentration of Ownership
Click here to see slides on International Standards of Broadcast Regulation

Argentina: Workshop on Freedom of Expression and Copyright, 24 June 2013

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), the Centro de Estudios en Libertad de Expresión y Acceso a la Información (CELE) and Fundación Via Libre (FVL) held a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss problems with the international framework for copyright and possible solutions. The workshop, which was attended by participants from across Latin America, featured presentations by Michael Karanicolas of CLD and Beatriz Busaniche of FVL, and was moderated by Eduardo Bertoni of CELE. A report on copyright by CLD with draft recommendations served as background material for the workshop.

Morocco: Free Press Unlimited Conference, 4 May 2013

Free Press Unlimited hosted a conference in Rabat, Morocco to mark World Press Freedom Day. The subject of the conference was Morocco’s proposed Press Law reforms, including the idea of creating a National Press Council. CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas discussed the proposed changes, and how to restructure the law in line with international human rights standards.

Kazakhstan: Access to Information: Implementation of the Constitutional Right for Civil Society, 11 February 2013

This conference discussed the right to information. CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas offered a global perspective on the right.

The Maldives: Symposium on Promoting the Right to Information, 23 October 2012

This symposium aimed at promoting the right to information in the Maldives, and encouraging the Maldivian Majlis to pass a draft RTI law that had been prepared. CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas prepared an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the draft Law, as well as a broader presentation on the benefits of the right to information. The symposium was attended by the then Speaker of the Maldivian Parliament (Majlis).

Montenegro: Conference on Proposed RTI Law Reforms, 23 March 2012

As part of a process of reforming the country’s RTI legislation, the government of Montenegro has prepared a draft Law on Free Access to Information, an update to the 2005 Law on Free Access to Information. CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas prepared an analysis of the draft Law pointing out its major shortcomings, which was presented at a conference in Pogdorica.
Click here for slides on Montenegro’s draft Law

Indonesia: CLD and ICEL Host Conference on RTI, 5 March 2012

As part of an ongoing programme of cooperation between CLD and Indonesian partners, on March 5 CLD and the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law hosted a conference on the right to information. The conference featured the launch of two major publications, as well as presentations by the former Hungarian Information Commissioner and by representatives from the Indonesian Central Information Commission, the Indonesian National Police Headquarters, the Indonesian Supreme Court and the Indonesian Presidential Task Force.
Click here for slides on Exceptions to the Right to Information
Click here for slides on standards of RTI implementation for public authorities

International Media Mission to Nepal Issues Joint Statement

Nepal is currently at an important stage in its democratic development, as a nation struggling with constitutional crises and slow progress in terms of promoting freedom of expression. On February 27, the International Media Mission visiting Nepal issued a Joint Statement, addressing key law and policy issues including strengthening the constitution and limiting the scope of classification of information. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy, was a member of the Mission, and has been on several previous missions to the country. The Centre for Law and Democracy will be involved in several of the follow-up actions, including efforts to introduce changes to the proposed draft constitutional provisions on freedom of expression, of information and of the media.
Click here to read the Joint Statement (in English) (in Nepali)

Conference on Government Secrecy, 5 Dec 2011

As part of an ongoing Indonesian project, CLD and Yayasan SET hosted this one-day conference which discussed government secrecy, particularly with regards to the draft State Secrecy Law currently under consideration in Indonesia. Featured speakers included CLD Executive Director Toby Mendel and CLD Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas.
Click here for slides on Secrecy and Civil Society

Kazakhstan Newspaper Publishers Association Conference, 11-12 Aug 2011

This conference in Astana brought together experts on media law and transparency law from across Central Asia and Eastern Europe. CLD’s Legal Officer Michael Karanicolas delivered the keynote addresses, presenting analyses of Kazakhstan’s draft Law on Information Access and draft Law on Publishing, as well as general comments on international standards of media regulation, free expression, and defamation law.
Click here for slides of our Analysis of the Kazakh draft RTI law
Click here for slides on Global Standards of Media Regulation
Click here for slides on Global Standards of Defamation Law
Click here for slides on Global Standards of Free Expression

OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting, 7-8 July 2011

This meeting in Hofburg, Vienna, was on the subject of Promotion of Pluralism in the New Media. Toby Mendel, CLD’s Executive Director, gave the keynote speech entitled “Pluralism in the New Media: Trends and Threats”. As the title suggests, the speech focused on some of the ways the new media have promoted pluralism, but also on some of the unique threats the online world poses to media pluralism.
Click here to read the speech

Global Trends on the Right to Information, 10-11 December 2010

This conference, hosted by Transparency Morocco in Rabat, was part of a wider local programme to advocate for the adoption of a strong local right to information law. CLD Executive Director Toby Mendel was one of the international speakers at this event.
Click hear to read the address

International Seminar on the Right to Access Public Information: Implementation Challenges for Law No 18.381, 5 November 2010

CAinfo and Unidad de Acceso a la Informatión Pública hosted this conference in Montevideo to discuss the implementation of Uruguay’s right to information legislation and to discuss a draft of a regional study on implementation of the right to information. CLD Executive Director Toby Mendel addressed the conference to discuss developments in the field of access to information.
Click here to read the address

Making the Case for Open Government, 29 September 2010

As part of International Right to Know Week, Canada’s Information Commissioner hosted an event in Ottawa on open government. CLD Executive Director Toby Mendel was a speaker at this event. His paper focused on some of the legal challenges and blocks relating to opening up government datat.
Click here to read the paper

Expert Meeting on Human Rights and the Internet, Stockholm, 16-17 June 2010

This expert meeting, organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, brought together leading experts on Internet issues to discuss principles on freedom of expression and the Internet. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, participated in the meeting as an expert.

Media Roundtable, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 9 June 2010

The Roundtable was organised by the Media Policy Institute, in collaboration with Internews Kyrgyzstan, and involved participation from very senior politicians, as well as the OSCE. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation on the overall framework for media regulation under international law.

Freedom of Information: National Demand, Global Lessons, Manila, 25 May 2010

This Forum, hosted by the Access to Information Network of the Philippines and held in the Philippine Congress, was held with the aim of promoting greater understanding about and incorporation of international standards into the draft national law on access to information. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation on FOI Recognition, Legislation and Practice: Global Developments.

The Content and Context of “Hate Speech”:  Rethinking Regulation and Remedies, 13 May 2010

This meeting, organised jointly by the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University and the Center for Media and Communications Studies at the Central European University. The goal was to revive debate around the issue of hate speech. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation on Incitement to Genocide.

UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2010 Global Conference, Brisbane, 2-3 May 2010 (World Press Freedom Day 2010 Declaration)

The focus of this year’s UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Conference, an annual event which was hosted this year by The University Of Queensland, was on the right to information. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation at the first plenary session on Freedom of Information: current status, challenges and implications for news media.

Towards More Open and Transparent Governance in South Asia, Delhi, 27-29 April 2010 (South Asia Transparency Declaration)

This Workshop was organised by Indian Institute of Public Administration in collaboration with the World Bank, with a view to fostering a regional discussion about implementation efforts regarding the right to information. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, was a discussant on the opening panel, featuring guests of honour.

The United Nations and Freedom of Expression and Information: Critical Perspectives, Amsterdam, 23 April 2010

This Expert Conference was organised by the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) & Institute for Information Law (IViR) Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. The purpose was to explore developments regarding freedom of expression and the right to information in the UN context. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave the keynote presentation on Priority Issues Concerning Freedom of Expression on behalf of the UN Special Rapporteur, and also made comments on the draft UN General Comment on Article 19 (which guarantees freedom of expression).

Freedom of Information Sensitization Workshop, by videoconference, 16 April 2010

This workshop, organised by the World Bank office in Lusaka, involved senior officials and a range of civil society groups. The objective was to raise awareness among participants about international standards on the right to information. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation and then answered questions on the topic of the workshop.

Special Mandates on Freedom of Expression: Ten Key Threats to this Fundamental Right Globally, American University, Washington, 3 February 2010 (Tenth Anniversary Joint Declaration)

This Seminar was hosted jointly by Claudio Grossman, Dean, American University Washington College of Law and Frank LaRue, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, with the aim of launching the 10th Joint Declaration of the four special international mandates on freedom of expression. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, was a discussant on a panel addressing the key points in the Joint Declaration.

Media Regulation and Public Service Broadcasting in Iraq’s Elections, Istanbul, 20-21 January 2010

This Seminar was organised by UNDP Iraq, as part of its technical assistance in the context of the upcoming elections in Iraq. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave the keynote presentation, Overview of Regulations Relating to Media in Elections.

Roundtable on Transparency in Relation to Open Governance, Bermuda, 15 January 2010

This Roundtable, organised by the Coalition for Community Activism in Bermuda (CCAB), brought together a small group of high-powered officials and legislators, including the Premier, to discuss principles on the right to information, as a contribution to the preparation of local legislation giving effect to this right. Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD, gave a presentation on Transparency: Importance and Key International Perspectives.