Archive item

Title: Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis
Other/original title:
Publisher: Council of Europe
Files: Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Adopted on 26 September 2007.doc
Abstract: This document, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 26 September 2007 at the 1005th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, sets out guidelines on the working conditions of media professionals in crisis situations; the protection of journalists’ sources of information; guarantees against misuse of defamation legislation; guarantees against undue limitations on freedom of expression and information and manipulation of public opinion; and responsibilities of media professionals. Member states are asked to ensure that these guidelines are observed by all relevant authorities. The guidelines, which extend the "Guidelines on human rights and the fight against terrorism" adopted in 2002, stipulate, for example, that authorities should investigate any killings and other attacks on media professionals promptly and thoroughly; media professionals should not be required by law-enforcement agencies to hand over information or material gathered in the context of covering crisis situations; member states should not intimidate media professionals by law suits or disproportionate sanctions in libel and defamation proceedings; member states should not use vague terms when imposing restrictions of freedom of expression, and terms such as incitement to violence and public disorder should be clearly defined; and self-regulation by bodies of media professionals needs to be made more effective in times of crisis.
Publication/ adoption date: 2007-09-26
Language: English