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Expert seminar on the links between articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): Freedom of expression and advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, 2-3 October 2008, Geneva)

LIST OF EXPERTS

Name of expert

Background

Topic of intervention

Mr. Abdelfattah Amor

Member of the Human Rights Committee

 

Topic B : Prohibition of incitement to hatred and discrimination must respect the requirements posed in article 19 (3) when it comes to restrictions on the right to freedom of expression. What are those criteria, as interpreted today by human rights mechanisms?

Ms. Agnès Callamard

Executive director of Article 19, former Chef de Cabinet of Amnesty International

 

Topic A : This panel will consider whether articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR are an indivisible whole – the obligation is to ensure freedom of expression before applying any limitations. In other words, can States impose restrictions on freedom of expression without first embracing the full scope of such freedom? At the same time, the objective is to clarify the nature of the obligations of States under article 20 (limitations as an option or an obligation).

Mr. Doudou Diène

Former Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Topic D : How can we use analysis of incitement to genocide, national hatred, racial hatred, etc. to better understand the analysis required concerning advocacy of religious hatred under article 20 of the ICCPR?

Mr. Mohamed Saeed M. Eltayeb

Human Rights Expert, Doha,Qartar

 

Topic C : What is the admissible scope of limitations on critical thinking on religious issues and under which circumstances could criticism of a religion fall within the scope of article 20 ICCPR? What does this imply in relation to freedom of expression, in particular artistic freedom?

Ms. Nazila Ghanea

Chief Editor of the International Journal on religion and human rights

 

Topic A: The international legal framework and the interrelatedness between articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR and States’ obligations. What protection does international law provide on this issue, and how has that law been interpreted by international, regional and national bodies? What is the relationship between articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR, and what are the scope and links between the prohibitions and limitations contained in those articles?

Ms. Asma Jahangir

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Topic B : How are the limitations enforced? Is the legislation criminal or civil? This discussion will likely also include issues of proselytism, “abusive” proselytism, “the rights of others”, in particular the right to freedom of belief and religion, and the right not to be discriminated against.

Mr. Frank La Rue

Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression

Topic A: Study of the differences / links between permissible limitations under article 19 (3), in particular when it comes to restrictions aimed at protecting the rights of others, and States’ obligations under article 20 (2). These issues would be examined particularly in the light of national legislative and judicial patterns as well as international and regional legislation and practice.

Mr. Natán Lerner

Professor of Law at Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv

Topic D: Where the State legitimately limits freedom of expression in other contexts (e.g., obscenity laws, defamation laws, denial laws, etc.), are there parallels to be drawn to deepen the analysis of the issue? How can we use analysis of incitement to genocide, national hatred, racial hatred, etc. to better understand the analysis required concerning advocacy of religious hatred under article 20?

Mr. Patrice Meyer-Bisch

Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Ethics and Human Rights Institute and of the UNESCO Chair in human rights and democracy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Topic C : What are the criteria and definition for advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence? How are these criteria assessed and should the historical context of article 20 of the ICCPR be considered in interpreting whether there has been a violation?

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn

Special Rapporteur on DPR Korea

Topic C: What are the criteria / definition for advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence? How are these criteria assessed and should the historical context of article 20 of the ICCPR be considered in interpreting whether there has been a violation?

Mr. Mogens Schmidt

Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace, UNESCO

Topic C : What is the admissible scope of limitations on critical thinking on religious issues and under which circumstances could criticism of a religion fall within the scope of article 20 ICCPR? What does this imply in relation to freedom of expression, in particular artistic freedom?

Mr. Patrick Thornberry

CERD member

Topic D : To what extent does ICERD provide protection against advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence? To what extent is General Recommendation 15 of CERD relating to article 4 of the ICERD useful in this regard?