Freedom of expression, association and assembly are part of the constituent elements necessary for the establishment of democratic societies. They encompass the essential rights inherent in a democracy to establish and participate in political parties, trade unions and non-governmental organisations as well as freedom of the media. The right to demonstrate and protest forms an essential part of these rights. This publication considers factors which hinder the enjoyment of these rights and posits guidelines to overcome these hindrances. It examines the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association as set out in the international and regional instruments. In doing so, it examines such limitations of these rights which are necessary in a democratic society to ensure other fundamental rights are not infringed. An expert group was drawn up from across the Commonwealth to determine the standards applicable and how to effect them.
Preface Introduction Chapter 1. Existing International Instruments 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Freedom of Expression 1.2.1 Scope of the Right 1.2.2 Limitations Regime 1.3 Freedom of Association and Assembly 1.3.1 Scope of the Right 1.3.2 Limitations 1.4 Derogation Chapter 2. Freedom of Expression. Specific Issues 2.1 Background 2.2 Guarantee of Freedom of Expression 2.3 Media Freedom and Control 2.4 Restrictions 2.4.1 National Security 2.4.2 Hate Speech 2.4.3 Defamation 2.5 Other Issues 2.6 Internet Chapter 3. Freedom of Assembly and Association. Specific Issues 3.1 Background 3.2 General Limitations 3.3 Specific Issues. Freedom of Assembly and Association 3.3.1 Demonstrations, Protests and Meetings 3.3.2 Political Associations 3.3.3 The Right to Not Belong and to Disassociate 3.3.4 Freedom of Association for Trade Unions & Employers' Associations 3.3.5 The Right to Strike and the Right to Picket Chapter 4. Recommended Minimum Standards for the Commonwealth 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Minimum Standards on Freedom of Expression 4.3 Minimum Guidelines on Freedom of Association 4.4 Minimum Standards on Freedom of Association Chapter 5. Effecting Minimum Standards 5.1 Constitutional and Legal Implications 5.2 Entrenchment 5.3 Limitation Provisions 5.4 The Role of Institutions/Civil Society Annexes Annex 1. Ratification of ILO Core Conventions by Commonwealth Members (as at 19.06.2002) Annex 2. Joint Statement on Racism and the Media Annex 3. Draft Declaration on Freedom of Communication on the Internet