Myanmar: Mapping Democratic Framework for Free Expression
Centre for Law and Democracy, 3 November 2022.
CLD has today released an Outline of the key elements that should be contained in any democratic legal framework which governs freedom of expression. The goal is to provide guidance to civil society and other interested stakeholders in Myanmar on how to create a framework which is consistent with international standards.
“The 2021 coup d’état heralded in a marked deterioration in respect for human rights in Myanmar,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “Despite that, many stakeholders are still committed to working towards a democratic future for Myanmar and we hope that this Outline will prove a valuable resource for them both to evaluate the current legal framework and to provide a sort of mapping of what a rights-compliant legal framework might look like.”
The Outline begins with a one-page table providing an overview of the rules presented in the Outline and then goes on to describe international standards on criminal and civil content rules, with a focus on hate speech, national security/public order, obscenity, protection of the judiciary, blasphemy, false news, defamation, privacy, and the right to information. It then turns to international standards on media regulation, highlighting the importance of ensuring the independence of regulatory bodies and promoting media diversity, and detailing how different rules are appropriate for different types of media, such as print media, private broadcasters, public broadcasters and online communications.
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