IBAHRI Secretariat to the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom

The IBAHRI has been appointed as the Secretariat to the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body that was convened at the request of the UK and Canadian governments. The High Level Panel comprises a diverse group of leading lawyers from around the world. The Chair is Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury and the Deputy Chair is Amal Clooney.

The remit of the Panel is to provide advice and recommendations to governments to prevent and reverse abuses of media freedom. The Panel will propose initiatives that can be taken by governments to ensure existing international obligations relating to media freedom are upheld, disseminate elements for model legislation to promote and protect a vibrant free press, and report on means of raising the cost to those who target journalists for their work.

High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom
High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom - Interview with Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

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Enforcement Reports

International Standards Reports

The Panel is working with leading academic institutions and law firms around the world to provide advice on model elements for the drafting and interpretation of legislation in line with international human rights standards.

This involves:

(1) reviewing the laws that are most frequently used to target media freedom and studying their use in prosecutions around the world;

(2) reviewing national and international standards relevant to such laws;

(3) reviewing existing guidance issued by international experts and bodies; and

(4) providing practical advice to governments, legislators and judges on drafting legislation, including specific guidance on penalties and language that would comply with international human rights law and reflect best practices in this area.

All reports

Panel Periodical Reports

The Panel has arranged for the IBAHRI Secretariat to produce periodic reports that detail their plans and the work they have undertaken.

Download latest report

External Advisory Committee (EAC)

Members of the External Advisory Committee (EAC), experts in their relevant fields, will review and contribute to six report on international standards being produced by the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom that codify International law/standards on freedom of expression. The Panel are delighted to be collaborating with the EAC who may endorse the executive summary and recommendations of the reports.

Name Position & organisation Region Biography
David Kaye Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine, School of Law and Former UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression (August 2014 - July 2020) Global Biography
Harlem Désir Representative on Freedom of the Media, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Europe Biography
Matjaz Gruden Director of Democratic Participation, Council of Europe Europe Biography
Patrick Penninckx Head of Department - Information Society, Council of Europe Europe Biography
Antoine Bernard Senior Advisor for International Strategic Litigation, RSF Global Biography
Rebecca Vincent UK Bureau Director, RSF Global Biography
Jodie Ginsberg Chief Executive, Index on Censorship until February 2020. Chief Executive, Internews Europe from March 2020 Global Biography
Joel Simon Executive Director, CPJ Global Biography
Courtney Radsch Advocacy Director, CPJ Global Biography
Jameel Jaffer Executive Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University US Biography
Ben Wizner American Civil Liberties Union US Biography
Clive Baldwin Senior Legal Adviser, HRW Global Biography
Sir Michael Tugendhat QC Former English High Court judge specialized in media cases UK Biography
Geoffrey Robertson QC Doughty Street Chambers UK Biography
Alex Bailin QC Matrix Chambers UK Biography
Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC Johannesburg Bar Africa Biography
Pansy Tlakula Chairperson of the Information Regulator of South Africa South Africa Biography
Agnes Callamard Director, Global Freedom of Expression Project, Columbia University & UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Global Biography
Karen Eltis Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Canada Biography
Miguel Maduro Former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice and now at the European Institute in Florence Europe Biography
Irene Khan Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression Global Biography
Professor Evelyn Aswad Professor of Law, Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law, University of Oklahoma US Biography
Damian Tambini Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communications, LSE UK Biography

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The Need for Independent Judges and a Free Press in a Democracy

The rule of law is arguably the most basic requirement of any civilised society, and an independent judiciary, to which access is available to all citizens, is an essential ingredient of the rule of law. Freedom of expression is also fundamental in a democratic society, in which the courts and the media have vital and complementary institutional roles.

Saudi Arabia: IBAHRI condemns non-transparent trial of Jamal Khashoggi killers

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the secret trial that led to the final verdict against the unnamed defendants who killed prominent dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2018

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY - 3 MAY Statement from the High Level Panel on the Covid-19 pandemic

To mark the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom are issuing a statement on the challenges posed to media freedom in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contact Details

Perri Lyons, Project Manager
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
5 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LG

Zara Iqbal, Programme Lawyer
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
5 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LG