Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the:
Right to freedom of opinion and expression: Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
The resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 adopted by the General Assembly came into force on the 20th of November in Lithuania. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Section 1:Rights and Freedoms
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Title II: Freedoms
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
2. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.
The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania guarantees the right to freedom expression and information.
The human being shall have the right to have his own convictions and freely express them.
The human being must not be hindered from seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas.
Freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may not be limited otherwise than by law, if this is necessary to protect the health, honour and dignity, private life, and morals of a human being, or to defend the constitutional order.
Freedom to express convictions and to impart information shall be incompatible with criminal actions—incitement of national, racial, religious, or social hatred, violence and discrimination, with slander and disinformation.
The citizen shall have the right to receive, according to the procedure established by law, any information concerning him that is held by State institutions.
Censorship of mass information shall be prohibited.
The State, political parties, political and public organisations, and other institutions or persons may not monopolise the mass media.
The principle law within the legal framework is the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public of the Republic of Lithuania. It covers all media sectors, print and online press,television and radio and guarantees media pluralism under article 16 and 29. It also calls under article three on all producers and disseminators of public information as well as journalists and publishers to observe the provisions of the Code of Ethics of Lithuanian Journalists and Publishers.
There is also the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information which sets out rights duties and liability of producers and disseminators of public information in regards to public information which has or could have detrimental effects on minors. However,its 2009 amendments raised criticism and some of its articles were seen as attempts to limit freedom of expression.
Other parts of the legal framework are: the Law on the Legal Protection of Personal Data, the Law on Copyright and the Law on Electronic Communications which was adopted to facilitate the inclusion of many European Union Directives and works in line with the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.
Libel remains criminalized under the Lithuanian Penal Code.Back to top