14.08.2017 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

Toolkit on freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists for judicial schools

This publication is part of the UNESCO initiative to generate empowerment among the Ibero-American Judicial Systems and ensure the protection and promotion of freedom of expression, access to public information and the safety of journalists.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Ibero-American Network of Judicial Schools (RIAEJ), jointly with outstanding international partners, are pleased to present the Toolkit on freedom of expression, access to public information, transparency and safety of journalists (available only in Spanish at present). This open access on-line publication will be a source and multiplier of knowledge for judges, prosecutors, experts and other judicial operators.

It is organized in six thematic modules that offer up to date information on the protection and promotion of freedom of expression, access to public information and safety of journalists in Judicial Systems in Ibero America. It also provides a range of learning activities, assessment tools, and didactic resources, with the aim of becoming a dynamic component of basic and advance training in Judicial Schools.

According to Lidia Brito, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean, the initiative is “in constant evolution towards the strengthening of capacities of judicial operators of Ibero America in the protection and promotion of freedom of expression, access to public information and safety of journalists. The Toolkit arrives to join the the third edition of the Online Course for Judicial Operators, which has already trained more than 5,000 people.”


For Sergio Palacio, Secretary General of RIAEJ, “The Toolkit was thought as a versatile material in terms of the possibilities of usage and provision of pedagogical tools for the different training actions to be developed by judicial schools.”

The material elaboration had the support of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Government of Sweden and the Open Society Foundation. The coordination of the contents of freedom of expression was in charge of Dr Catalina Botero, Dean of the Faculty of Law of Los Andes University of Colombia, together with a team of international experts in legal pedagogical resources, led by the academic Alberto Iardelevsky, responsible for the pedagogical coordination. Among its sources of cases, the Bank of Jurisprudence on Freedom of Expression of Columbia University stands out. The material also has the validation of judicial schools in 19 countries of Ibero America.

In accordance with Sustainable Development Objective 16 of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, the Judicial Schools Toolkit is an additional and fundamental step towards the achievement of autonomous justice systems and a free, independent and pluralistic press: essential conditions to ensure the full expression of the trinomial of democracy, development and human rights for all citizens.

In line with this work, the "International standards of freedom of expression. Basic Guide for Justice Operators in Latin America", which is also available on-line, translating more than 70 years of international jurisprudence on the subject of freedom of expression, and drawing up a roadmap for judicial operators so that they can make decisions according to international standards. The guide was prepared by the Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA) with the support of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and UNESCO. Its author is Silvia Chocarro, an expert on issues of freedom of expression.

Finally, it is highly expected that institutions that train judges, prosecutors and other justice operators, use the Toolbox.

 

The Toolkit covers:

Module 1. The International Legal Framework of Freedom of Expression;

Module 2. Violence against freedom of expression and the role of judges in the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against persons in retaliation for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression, or as a mechanism to prevent them from exercising this right;

Module 3. Limits to the exercise of freedom of expression: Challenges of criminal law

Module 4. New challenges to freedom of expression on the internet

Module 5. Access to information and freedom of expression: a fundamental element of the democratic system Module 6. Diversity and pluralism in the media.




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