CLD's Toolkit for Judges on Freedom of Expression

7 February 2022 – for immediate release

Launch of Toolkit for Judges on Freedom of Expression

The Training Manual for Judges on International Standards on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, a comprehensive toolkit for supporting judges to take into account international human rights standards on freedom of expression in their decisions, is being launched today. The toolkit was prepared by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) in collaboration with International Media Support (IMS), UNESCO and the Judicial Institute of Jordan, and piloted at a training of judges in Amman, Jordan in September/October 2021.

“The launch of this toolkit is a major achievement and the culmination of an important collaborative effort among the four key partners,” said Toby Mendel. “We hope to be able to train judges not only in Jordan but throughout the Arab World using this high-powered resource.”

The toolkit is divided into six main modules, namely: International and National Guarantees of Freedom of Expression, The Legitimate Scope of Criminal and Civil Law Restrictions on the Right to Freedom of Expression, Legal Resolution of Attacks on Freedom of Expression, The Right to Access Public Information, Media Regulation to Promote Free, Independent and Diverse Media, and Regulating Freedom of Expression in the Digital Era. It also has a number of annexes addressing common questions and answers, and containing exercises to support the training and additional resources.

‘’Journalists need a competent and independent judiciary to protect their right to free expression. The more judges are trained on this topic, the more steps are being taken towards the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of expression. We hope the manual will help judges in translating the theoretical frameworks underpinning the right to freedom of expression into practice,” stated Min Jeong Kim, UNESCO Representative to Jordan.

The key objective of the toolkit is to promote freedom of expression by helping judges integrate international standards on this fundamental human right into their domestic decisions. It builds on work in this area by UNESCO in Latin America and Africa but is specifically tailored to freedom of expression issues that are commonly found in the Arab World.

Integrity and independence are equally important for journalists and judges. Supporting the judicial system in their work with the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of expression is a key activity, including when it comes to combatting impunity for crimes against journalists. It is our hope that this manual will be widely used,” says Jesper Højberg, Executive Director at IMS (International Media Support).

The toolkit is available in English and Arabic at: Launch of Toolkit for Judges on Freedom of Expression | Centre for Law and Democracy