Friday, January 25, 2013

Freedom of Expression in South-East Asia - Trends and Challenges in Media Law

Below are the opening paragraphs and link to the full text of a conference paper I delivered in Hong Kong, in 2007:

"The aim of the current three day training course organised by Hong Kong University is therefore to strengthen media freedom in South-East Asia by building and strengthening national and regional capacity for media defence litigation, which has been identified as a key means to promote a free media in many countries. Lawyers from each of the six countries concerned will be brought together to discuss international and regional law and practice on freedom of expression, and to identify ways of bringing progressive international legal arguments in a domestic setting.

This paper seeks to provide an overview of the main legal trends and challenges to freedom of expression in the six countries surveyed. It also discusses the status in the region of international human rights law and the options for lawyers wishing to bring international and comparative law arguments in a domestic setting, and concludes with some suggestions as to the way forward.

I.     Practice across the region

Practice in the region shows that defamation is the chief challenge to freedom of expression. However, numerous other laws are also in active use to restrict media freedom beyond the level that is accepted under international human rights law. The following paragraphs provide a bird's eye view of freedom of expression law and practice in the region.

For full text click here