ICJ kokosi yhteen tuomarien ja asianajajien sanan- yhdistymis- ja kokoontumisvapauden standardit

18.2.2019 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Judges’ and Lawyers’ Freedoms of Expression, Association and Assembly: overview of international standards

The ICJ has published an overview of international standards on
judges’ and lawyers’ freedoms of expression, association and assembly,
in a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of
Judges and Lawyers.The document responds to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input for an upcoming report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The submission
outlines the relevant international standards and key regional
jurisprudence and standards, as well as illustrative national cases and
practice and several academic sources.

The ICJ concludes, among other things, that:

  • Judges and prosecutors are like other citizens entitled to freedom
    of expression, belief, association and assembly, subject only to
    necessary and proportionate restrictions for valid purposes.
  • In principle any such restrictions that are specifically related to
    their judicial functions, should be established by the judiciary itself
    or another independent body with majority membership of judges.
  • Any proceedings against a judge or prosecutor related to their
    exercise of these freedoms should comply fully with international human
    rights law and standards in terms of the grounds and procedures,
    including as set out in standards on independence of the judiciary and
  • Judges and prosecutors should be required to recuse themselves from
    any case where they have previously exercised these freedoms in a way
    that would give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias in their
    subsequent conduct of the case.
  • At the same time, the above considerations do not mean that a judge
    or prosecutor can never engage in expression, association or assemblies
    that touch on issues or parties that could speculatively come before the
    courts at some future point. Total isolation from the community and
    society is neither realistic nor desirable.
  • In general, involvement in or comment on matters of party politics
    carry particularly high risks of giving rise to perceptions of lack of
    independence and there is relatively wide scope to enact restrictions on
    this ground.
  • It is particularly important that judges (and prosecutors) can
    exercise their freedoms of expression, association and assembly in order
    to address: threats to the independence of the judiciary; threats to
    judicial integrity; fundamental aspects of the administration of
    justice; or to otherwise promote and protect universally recognized
    human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. As such,
    there is very limited scope for any authority to restrict exercise of
    these freedoms for these purposes.
  • The relevant standards and principles apply to online forms of
    expression and association (including social media) in an equal or
    analogous manner to their application to offline forms. However, judges
    and prosecutors should be aware of and take into account practical
    aspects of online forms of expression and association.

The full submission can be downloaded in PDF format here:  Global-JudgesExpression-Advocacy-SRIJL-2019-Eng

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