UN Human Rights Committee publishes long-awaited comment on free expression

Version 1
Visibility: Open to anyone

    Network of concerned historian (nch)


    On 21 July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Committee published its long-awaited General Comment No. 34 (Article 19: Freedoms of Opinion and Expression). This is the single most authoritative comment worldwide on Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, since the latter was approved in 1966.

    Below you will find the text of Article 19, the plan of General Comment No. 34 

    For the complete text of General Comment No. 34, see:

    http://www.concernedhistorians.org/content/to.html

    With best wishes,

    Antoon De Baets

    (Network of Concerned Historians)

    ******

    Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

    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.

     

    Plan of General Comment No. 34 (Article 19: Freedoms of Opinion and Expression) (2011):

    General remarks [paras 1-8]

    Freedom of opinion [paras 9-10]

    Freedom of expression [paras 11-12]

    Freedom of expression and the media [paras 13-17]

    Right of access to information [paras 18-19]

    Freedom of expression and political rights [para 20]

    The application of article 19 (3) [paras 21-36]

    Limitative scope of restrictions on freedom of expression in certain specific areas [paras 37-49]

    The relationship of articles 19 and 20 [paras 50-52]