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Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information
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  COMPLETED RESEARCH
 
Freedom of Expression and Criminal Law
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are central to the development of democratic and pluralistic societies. Under dictatorial regimes, the exercise of these rights is restricted and permanently at risk. Even in democratic states, criminal law can be used to silence voices that are critical to those in power.
In this context, CELE, in response to a request from the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States (OAS), has proposed to undertake an exhaustive analysis of the legislation, jurisprudence and existing practices relating to criminal law in situations in which it could come into conflict with Inter-American standards of the protection of freedom of expression. This study analyzed the situation in ten countries in the region.
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Freedom of Expression on the Internet

This research analyzed recent Argentine jurisprudence in cases where celebrity plaintiffs brought suit against the search engines Google and Yahoo for violating their honor and privacy. It describes the facts of these cases, the arguments presented to the court and the reasoning judges have adopted in their decisions for injunctive relief. The research also compared the legal arguments presented by Argentine judges to justices of the United Kingdom on similar events.

CELE, prepared, from this research, a presentation for the workshop "Freedom of the Press and Internet: Challenges and strategies for defending freedom of expression online", held at Oxford University in July 2009.

During 2010, CELE updated the first version of the document and presented it during a workshop held in Buenos Aires, the "Latin American Consultation of Experts on Freedom of Expression in the Internet". This activity, organized by DEMOS Institute and CELE, had as the main speaker Frank La Rue UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Also attending the event were Eduardo Bertoni -Director of CELE-, Gustavo Gómez -Director of DINATEL, Uruguay-, Toby Mendel - Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy-, Carlos Ayala Corao -former Commissioner of the IACHR-, Roberto Saba, -Dean, University of Palermo School of Law-, Stewart Chisholm -Open Society Institute-, and Pedro Less Andrade -Google Argentina-, among others.

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Freedom of Expression in the Americas
The Regional Alliance for the Freedom of Expression and Access to Information asked Eduardo Bertoni, Director of CELE to undertake a study that attempted to describe the state of freedom of expression in the Americas during the last ten years.
This study further analyzes the violations of freedom of expression exposed by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression by categorizing each event in addition to organizing them by country. By using this different, quantitative approach, CELE was able to shed new light on the state of freedom of expression in the region.
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Hate speech and freedom of expression
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) asked Prof. Eduardo Bertoni, Director of CELE, to research, analyze and present a study on the prohibition of incitement to hatred in the following areas related to the Americas: 1) legislation, 2) judicial practices, and 3) policies. Carlos J. Zelada, professor at the Pontificia Catholic University Law School of Peru and the San Martín de Porres University Law School, collaborated with Professor Bertoni on this research. The study will serve as the basis for discussions in one of the four regional workshops that OHCHR will organize in 2011.

OHCHR will organize a series of expert workshops on the prohibition of incitement to national, racial or religious hatred, which will explore legislative patterns, judicial practices and national policies on this subject. This initiative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights comes in follow-up to the 2008 OHCHR Expert Seminar on the links between articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with regard to freedom of expression and incitement to hatred. OHCHR envisions holding 4 regional workshops (Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and Americas). Each of the regional workshops will need to be thoroughly prepared beforehand by researching, analyzing and mapping legislative patterns, judicial practices, and national policies regarding the prohibition of incitement to national, racial or religious hatred.

The other experts that will be preparing the studies are Mr. Louis-Léon Christians (Europe), Mr. Doudou Diène (Africa) and Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn (Asia-Pacific).
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