Rule of law
The Council of Europe supports the member states in securing effective rule of law that facilitates redress of human rights violations and safeguards democratic and inclusive societies in Europe.
The securing the rule of law online through internet governance is of specific concern for the Council of Europe as the internet provides both the possibility to enjoy the rights to freedom of expression and assembly as also the risk of human rights violations and discrimination in the form of hate speech.
© Nicolas Vadot, member of the Cartooning for Peace Foundation
Discussions on internet governance take place in different national and international fora and involve governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles to shape common views on internet policies.
The Council of Europe takes an active part in these discussions and dialogue with all stakeholders to secure that the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) are at the forefront of all development regarding the internet.
The No Hate Speech Movement is part of the Council of Europe Internet governance strategy 2016-2019. The campaign aims to promote human rights standards online and has therefore integrated the Guide to human rights for internet users of the Council of Europe in the second edition of Bookmarks, a manual on combating hate speech through human rights education.
The Council of Europe works with various stakeholders on setting clear and transparent internet standards that will secure human rights online, and ensure an adequate response to hate speech online. Most recent work includes:
- Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)5 on Internet freedom, calling on member states to evaluate the state of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the internet;
- Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)1 on protecting and promoting the right to freedom of expression and the right to private life with regard to network neutrality;
- a "Comparative study on Filtering, blocking and take-down of illegal internet content This study describes and assesses the legal framework and relevant case law and practice in the field.
For more on the work of the Council of Europe on internet governance, check the relevant webpages.