Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)1 on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership, 7 March 2018
Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, 13 April 2016
European Ministerial Conferences on Mass Media Policy and Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services, 2016
Recommendations and resolutions adopted by the PACE in the field of media and information society, 2016
Report on Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists: Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, IRIS Themes, Vol. III, Strasbourg: Eurpean udiovisual observatory, edition 2015
PACE Resolution 2077 (2015) on Abuse of pretrial detention in States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights, 1 October 2015
PACE Recommendation 2081 (2015) on abuse of pretrial detention in States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pedro Agramunt, 1 October 2015
PACE Report Doc 13863 (2015) on Abuse of pretrial detention in States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur P. Agramunt, 7 September 2015
PACE Report Doc. 13791 on improving the protection of whistle blowers presented to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights by Rapporteur P. Omtzigt, 19 May 2015
Report of the 3rd reunion of the Committee of Experts on Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists MSI-JO (2015) 03, 19-20 March 2015
PACE Recommendation 2062 (2015) on Protection of the safety of journalists and of media freedom in Europe, 29 January 2015
Report Seminar and Inter-regional Dialogue on the protection of journalists - “Towards an effective framework of protection for the work of journalists and an end to impunity”, Strasbourg, 3 November 2014
Resolution N° 3 on Safety of journalists - Ministerial Conference, Belgrade, Serbia, 7-8 November 2013
UNGA Report (A/HRC/24/23) of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on ‘the safety of journalists’, 1 July 2013
PACE Recommendation 1998 (2012) on the protection of freedom of expression and information on the Internet and online media, 25 April 2012
PACE Resolution 1877 (2012) on the protection of freedom of expression and information on the Internet and online media, 25 April 2012
Committee of Ministers Declaration on the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association with regard to privately operated Internet platforms and online service providers, 7 December 2011
Committee of Ministers Declaration on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector, 26 March 2008
PACE Report Doc. 11305 ‘Towards decriminalisation of defamation’ presented to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights by Rapporteur J. Bartumeu Cassany, 25 June 2007
PACE Resolution 1535 (2007) on Threats to the lives and freedom of expression of journalists, 25 January 2007
UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1738 on protection of civilians in armed conflicts, 23 December 2006
Freedom of expression is one of the basic conditions for the progress of society. Without safeguards for the safety of journalists there can be no free media.
Journalists are under threat in Europe. Different forms of violence against journalists have increased significantly over the last decade: from physical attacks, to intimidation and harassment, targeted surveillance and cyberbullying, we now see a range of tactics deployed to silence critical voices and free speech. Together with impunity for the perpetrators of unwarranted interference on journalists, these are among the most serious challenges facing media freedom today. Self-censorship is hardly surprising in such circumstances.
This study, conducted among almost 1 000 journalists and other news providers in the 47 Council of Europe member states and Belarus, sheds new light on how these issues impact on journalists’ behaviour. The results of the study provide quantitative evidence on such unwarranted interference, fear and how this relates to consequent self-censorship. These striking results confirm the urgent need for member states to fully implement Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, and represent an essential and reliable tool for strategic planning in this field to guarantee freedom of expression.
(2015) ISBN 978-92-871-8120-6
Is journalism under threat? Censorship, political pressure, intimidation, job insecurity and attacks on the protection of journalists’ sources - how can these threats be tackled? Journalism at Risk is a new book from the Council of Europe, in which ten experts from different backgrounds examine the role of journalism in democratic societies. Is journalism under threat? The image of journalists, as helmeted war correspondents protected by bullet-proof vests and armed only with cameras and microphones, springs to mind. Physical threats are only the most visible dangers, however. Journalists and journalism itself are facing other threats such as censorship, political and economic pressure, intimidation, job insecurity and attacks on the protection of journalists’ sources. Social media and digital photography mean that anyone can now publish information, which is also upsetting the ethics of journalism. How can these threats be tackled? What is the role of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and national governments in protecting journalists and freedom of expression? In this book, 10 experts from different backgrounds analyse the situation from various angles. At a time when high-quality, independent journalism is more necessary than ever – and yet when the profession is facing many different challenges – they explore the issues surrounding the role of journalism in democratic societies.
Freedom of expression and defamation: where do we draw the line?
Freedom of expression is a fundamental freedom, one of the cornerstones of democracy in Europe, enshrined in various key texts, including the European Convention on Human Rights. But the boundaries between freedom to criticise and damaging a person’s honour or reputation are not always very clear. By defining public insults and defamation, the law can set limits on freedom of expression, which is neither absolute nor boundless. But how far can it go?
This study examines the details of the European Court of Human Right’s case law on defamation. It explores a range of substantive and procedural issues that the Court has considered, and clarifies the concept of defamation, positioning it in relation to freedom of expression and public debate. It explains how overly protective defamation laws can have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and public debate, and discusses the proportionality of defamation laws and their application.
IRIS Themes – Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists. Report by the European Audiovisual Observatory
52015) Author: Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent and Copenhagen Universities). Edited by Tarlach McGonagle of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR)
Question: What do Caroline of Monaco, Linford Christie and Gerhard Schröder have in common? Answer: their names have all figured in important European case law concerning journalistic freedom of speech and the media.
All of these important media cases feature in IRIS Themes – Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists. This 400 page report by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, offers an unparalleled overview of 240 different high profile court cases based on or around article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights – guaranteeing freedom of speech and information. Links to the full transcription for each case are provided.
In the times of whistleblowers, hate speech, data protection, good and bad “buzz”, this new publication provides vital background analysis of the European legislation which gives us a right to speak… or not…
(2014) by Prof. Wolfgang Benedek and Dr Matthias C. Kettemann ISBN 978-92-871-7702-5
With the rise of the Internet, the opportunities to express oneself have grown exponentially, as have the challenges to freedom of expression. From the Arab Spring to the global Occupy movement, freedom of expression on the Internet has had a profound impact on the debates which shape our future. At the same time, an increasing number of states use the Internet to spy on journalists and citizens, to prosecute and jail bloggers, and to censor online information. The book shows the large ambit of rights protected by freedom of expression – including freedom of the media and the right to access information via the Internet. It also highlights the importance of the standard-setting, monitoring and promotion activities of international and non-governmental organisations, with a chapter on relevant national practices that illustrates how different states deal with the challenge that the Internet has brought to ensuring freedom of expression for all.
(2012) ISBN 978-92-871-7775-9
The media play a crucial role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. Free, independent and pluralistic media are a core element of any democracy. However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media outlets have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups. Now the phenomenon of social media presents us with a range of fresh challenges. Blogs, video and social networking sites have become a key forum for political debate and organisation - so much so that they have provoked counter-responses from some repressive states. While there is a need to ensure better protection of personal integrity in social media, the right to freedom of expression must not be undermined. Eight experts invited to contribute to the publication conclude that there is a need for stronger protection of media freedom and freedom of expression in Europe today.
Freedom of Expression - Essays in honour of Nicolas Bratza, President of the European Court of Human Rights
(2012) ISBN 978-92-871-7424-6
Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of all democratic systems. Without it ideas about how to protect the common good in our societies would be impoverished. A marketplace of ideas is essential for democracy to thrive. It is for this reason that the European Court of Human Rights attaches such importance to political discourse as well as to speech and other forms of expression that may shock and offend. Yet such freedom may clash with other rights such as the right to privacy, the right to a good reputation. It may even conflict with the need to protect public order or morals. Societies require pluralism if they are to grow yet democracy also seeks to limit extreme forms of speech that preach hate and advocate violence. But are such restrictions on free speech legitimate and by what criteria are we to judge their necessity? We rely on journalists to report accurately the controversies of the day and protect their right not to reveal sources. They also enjoy a broad right of fair comment. But we expect them to be responsible in their factual reporting, to check their sources and to have regard to the need to observe some degree of restraint when reporting or commenting on matters that affect the rights of others. But is it legitimate to interfere with reporting that is in the public interest and how can the law promote responsible journalism? This collection of essays on freedom of expression contains contributions by distinguished judges and lawyers from many varied backgrounds that explore these themes with a critical eye. The book seeks to honour Sir Nicolas Bratza, President of the European Court of Human Rights, for his outstanding contribution, as a jurist and leading judicial figure, to the protection of human rights in Europe.
(2011) ISBN 978-92-871-7326-3PDF
The "rags to riches" story of Karol Jakubowicz's involvement in the work of the Council of Europe took him from the role of an awestruck newcomer from Poland in 1990 to that of the Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (2005-06). Along the way, he was elected, delegated by the Steering Committee, and invited by the Council of Europe Secretariat to serve in a number of other capacities. In all of them, he contributed a wide variety of papers, reports and studies to assist the steering committee and other bodies in collecting information and formulating ideas in the general field of freedom of expression, creation of free and democratic media systems (including the issue of public service media), regulation of transfrontier television, the adjustment of Council of Europe human rights standards to the conditions of the information society, and the development of broadcasting legislation in Council of Europe member states.The present collection of these papers and reports is published in the conviction that they retain their value and relevance. It provides the additional benefit of offering a glimpse of the work preceding the formulation of Committee of Ministers recommendations and declarations, as well as resolutions of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
(2010) ISBN 978-92-871-6464-3
Freedom of expression is not absolute, even though it is a fundamental right enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Under the terms of the Article 10 of the Convention, its exercise may be subject to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and are "necessary in a democratic society" in order to uphold the rights of all individuals.The author compares and analyses the protection of and limits on the right to freedom of expression in the case law of European constitutional courts and the European Court of Human Rights, drawing on practical examples, to see whether a common European approach exists in this area.
Speaking of Terror - A survey of the effects of counter-terrorism legislation on freedom of the media in Europe
(2008) by David Banisar
The effects of anti-terrorism legislation and efforts since 2001 have raised new challenges for the media’s ability to collect and disseminate information. Nearly all European nations have adopted new laws in that period. Freedom of expression has been especially challenged by the adoption of new laws on prohibiting speech that is considered “extremist” or supporting of terrorism. These new laws in many jurisdictions are used to suppress political and controversial speech. Web sites are often taken down or blocked. Access to information laws have been widely accepted and adopted across the CoE. However, state secret and national security laws are regularly being used against journalists and their sources.
Freedom of expression in Europe - Case-law concerning Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
(Human rights files No. 18) (2007) ISBN 978-92-871-6094-2
The European Court of Human Rights has always defended the idea that freedom of expression has an essential role to play in a democratic society, helping to foster the development of an open, tolerant society in which human rights are respected. Freedom of expression is not absolute and unconditional, however; there are certain limits which must be respected.How can racist, xenophobic propaganda be proscribed without trespassing on individual freedom of expression? How can a suspect's right to be presumed innocent be protected without placing restrictions on the public's right to information? Where should we draw the line concerning the criticism of politicians by the media? It is by answering these and many similar questions over a period of almsost fifty years that the European Court of Human Rights has developed its case-law in respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, presented in summary form in this book.
(2004) ISBN 978-92-871-5249-7
This book reviews the Council of Europe's work in the field of the media from the 1950s onwards and provides the reader with a framework for understanding policy development and how important democratically regulated media are. It also informs on the challenges facing European media policy today, such as freedom of speech in the context of globalised terrorism, journalists in conflict situations and the pressing issue of media concentration.