The popularization of the internet has revolutionized the concept of free expression by providing unprecedented opportunities for the communication of ideas. In order to assist legislators, judges, and civil society groups in adapting to this new reality, the Centre for Law and Democracy participated in drafting the 11th Joint Declaration by the four specialized mandates of the UN, OAS, OSCE and African Commission tasking with promoting and protecting freedom of expression. The Declaration is also available in Russian, Spanish and Arabic.
The strongly worded Declaration notes that many States actively seek to control the Internet and that good faith attempts at regulation often work to undermine freedom of expression. It also recognizes access to the internet as a right, and sets out detailed standards regarding freedom of expression and the Internet. CLD hopes that this statement will encourage states to take concrete measures to promote and protect universal access to the Internet.
The Joint Declaration was unveiled at a ceremony in Budapest on 1 June 2011. Video coverage of the press conference, as well as interviews with key participants, is available here: