- The development of freedom of expression and information within the UN: leaps and bounds or fits and starts?
- Book title
- The United Nations and freedom of expression and information: critical perspectives
- Pages (from-to)
- Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Institute for Information Law (IViR)
This chapter tells the story of how the rights to freedom of expression and information have been shaped by the United Nations’ (UN) institutional dynamics over the years. It gives an account of how the growth of the rights to freedom of expression and information has been both stimulated and stymied by different factors in the particular institutional context of the UN. It traces the broad contours of the two rights by connecting the largest conceptual, normative, historical and institutional dots.
The chapter opens with a brief exploration of the contiguous nature of the rights to freedom of expression and information. This necessarily involves reflection on the instrumental role that the media and new communications technologies can play in the realization of both rights in practice. The remainder of the chapter has an overtly institutional focus. Its next three substantive sections correspond to three broad - roughly chronological, but occasionally overlapping - phases in the development of freedom of expression and information at the UN. Each period is denoted by its key features or aspirations: trail-blazing, consolidation and expansion, and the quest for coherence and consistency. Various thematic challenges have presented themselves during these periods, a number of which are woven into the chapter’s narrative. Finally, after offering some substantive conclusions, the chapter will explain the objectives and structure of the book as a whole.
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