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High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom - Amicus Curiae

The High Level Panel of Legal Experts can act as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in key cases relating to media freedom that fall within the Panel’s remit and expertise. Legal interventions from the High Level Panel provide an opportunity to address systemic interferences with the right to freedom of expression and media freedom.

Expert Intervention - The Inter-American Court of Human Rights:

Following a request, the High Level Panel constituted a working group that drafted an amicus brief in a landmark media freedom case, of Emilio Palacio Urrutia and Others v. The Republic of Ecuador, before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The case concerns the lawfulness of criminal defamation statutes as applied to El Universo, one of Ecuador’s most well-established and widely circulated newspapers, its columnist, and its three directors. The case gives rise to issues which fall squarely within the High Level Panel’s remit and expertise. On 3 June 2021, the High Level Panel submitted their amicus curiae brief, which can be read here. The High Level Panel are represented by members of the High Level Panel, Professors Dario Milo and Can Yeginsu. The High Level Panel is of the view that the present case holds considerable significance as an opportunity for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to address, once again, a fundamental question of principle: whether or not criminal defamation can properly co-exist with the protections for a free press under the American Convention system. The High Level Panel’s submission makes a strong case against the criminalisation of defamation as it stands both in Ecuador and across the Organisation of American States. The High Level Panel hope the analysis and submissions provided will assist the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its deliberations in this important case.

High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom submits amicus curiae petition to Inter-American Court of Human Rights in ‘El Universo’ criminal defamation case

| 14 June 2021

Today the Inter-American Court of Human Rights begins to hear Emilio Palacio Urrutia and Others v. The Republic of Ecuador. The case concerns the lawfulness of criminal defamation statutes as applied to El Universo, one of Ecuador’s most well-established and widely circulated newspapers, its columnist, and its three directors.