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.



Minimum Standards for the Commonwealth

In formulating the minimum standards, the EG examined the provisions of international [UN] and regional human rights instruments. In examining the instruments it was necessary to refer to the interpretations rendered by the relevant interpretive authorities. An overview of the relevant standards on freedom of expression, association and assembly together with the EG's observations on the standards were provided in Chapter One.


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