Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly

image of Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly
Freedom of expression, assembly and association are part of the constituent elements necessary for the establishment of democratic societies. They encompass the essential rights inherent in a democracy to establish and participate in political parties, trade unions and nongovernmental organisations as well as freedom of the media. The right to demonstrate and protest forms an essential part of these rights.

This publication considers factors which hinder the enjoyment of these rights and posits guidelines to overcome these hindrances. It examines the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association as set out in the international and regional instruments. In doing so, it examines such limitations of these rights which are necessary in a democratic society to ensure other fundamental rights are not infringed.

An expert group was drawn up from across the Commonwealth to determine the standards applicable and how to effect them.




Developments over the past 50 years have increasingly seen human rights becoming a critical tool in the manner in which the world functions or aspires to. The adoption of a host of Conventions, Treaties and Declarations covering diverse areas of human rights provide evidence that at the international and the national level there is greater and growing acceptance about the role and place of human rights in the world order. It is becoming a legitimate benchmark by which members of the international community judge and relate to each other.


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