Comments on legislation and policy

On this page, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression shares all comments on national laws, regulations and policies provided by the mandate to States and to private companies. The mandate regularly provides comments on the adequacy of normative and policy developments with international standards for the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The following is a list of letters concerning norms sent since 2011 and the responses received.

All comments sent since 2011 listed by country

Azerbaijan

  • 10/12/2012 – Amendments to Law on Freedom of Assembly, the Administrative Offences Code and the Criminal Code. - AZE 5/2012

Argentina

  • 26/04/2018 – proyecto de ley por el que se regula la responsabilidad de los intermediarios de Internet - OL ARG 1/2018

Australia

  • 04/04/2019 - Amendment to the Criminal Code on Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Content, AUS 5/2019
  • 04/09/2014 - Draft Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Bill - AUS 3/2014
  • 12/02/2016 - Amendments to criminal codePrevention of Lawful Activity Bill” in the state of Western Australia – AUS 1/2016
  • 15/02/2018: Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s call for submission on National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017AUS 2/2018
  • 11/09/2018 - Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018AUS 5/2018

Bahrain

Bangladesh

  • 14/05/2018 – draft Digital Security ActOL BGD 4/2018
  • 23/10/2012 - Foreign Donations Regulation draft law- BGD 7/2012
  • 29/10/2013 - Amended Information and Communication Technology Act - BGD 11/2013
  • 02/07/2014 - Latest version of the draft Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act 2014 - BGD 3/2014
  • 12/12/2014 - National Broadcast Policy 2014- BGD 5/2014

Bolivia

  • 30/10/2014 - Reglamento parcial 1987 de la Ley 351 de Otorgación de Personalidades Jurídicas - BOL 3/2014

Brazil

  • 13/04/2017 - The federal "School Without Party Programme" bills, PL 867/2015 and PL 193/2016 - OL BRA 4/2017
  • 28/10/2015 - Draft terrorism legislation, Law no.101/2015BRA 8/2015

Brunei Darussalam

Burundi

  • 18/02/2013 - Draft law modifying Law No. 1/025 (Regulating the press) - BDI 1/2013

Cambodia

  • 03/04/2018 – “Draft minimum wage law”KHM 3/2018

Cameroun

  • 08/01/2014- Law 962 on Counter-terrorism CMR 2/2014

Canada

  • 17/04/2018 - Comments on the telecommunications and entertainment industry coalition’s application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission pursuant to sections 24, 24.1, 36 and 70(1)(a) of the Telecommunications Act 1993 to "disable on-line access to piracy sites" – CAN 1/2018
  • 24/05/2012 - Law regarding the settlement of the city of Montreal and law No. 78 - CAN 1/2012
  • 20/04/2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – CAN 1/2016
    • Government reply: 02/05/2016 and 14/06/2016

Chile

  • 23/01/2012 - Proyecto de Ley que Fortalece el Resguardo del Orden Público - CHL 1/2012
  • 02/11/2012 - Proyecto de Ley que Fortalece el Resguardo del Orden Público - CHL 5/2012
  • 20/04/2016- Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – CHL 2/2016

China

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • 15/11/2017 – Draft bill on the regulation of NGOsCOD 2/2017

Ecuador

  • 11/1/2019 - Legislación que modifica la Ley Orgánica de Comunicación OL ECU 1/2019
  • 11/12/2018 – Proyecto de Ley Orgánica de Organizaciones sin Fines de LucroOL ECU 5/2018
  • 19/07/2012 – Proyecto de Ley Orgánica de Comunicación - ECU 1/2012
  • 14/10/2016 – Ley Orgánica de Comunicación de su país, y los efectos adversos a la libertad de expresión y de opinión que resultan de su puesta en práctica - OL ECU (6.2016)

Egypt

  • 12/02/2013 - Two draft laws on associations and on assembly - EGY 4/2013
  • 14/01/2014 - Draft of the new Constitution as approved by the Egyptian Constituent Assembly - EGY 1/2014
  • 12/06/2015- Implementation of NGO- LawEGY 10/2015
  • 19/08/2015 - Law on censorship of artistic works and on artistic expressionEGY 9/2015
  • 09/08/2018- Amendments to the Press and Media LawEGY 13/2018

France

  • 20/8/2019 – Draft law on online hate speech (“proposition de loi visant à lutter contre les contenus haineux sur Internet”) – OL FRA 6/2019
  • 03/02/2015- Law no.2014-1353 on counter-terrorismFRA 1/2015
  • 28/12/2015 - Law no.2015/1556 on surveillance of international electronic communication, and law on state of emergencyFRA 7/2015
  • 28/05/2018 – Draft bills on “fake news”FRA 5/2018

Gambia

  • 16/07/2013 – Amendments on the Information and Communication Act - GMB 1/2013

Germany

Guatemala

  • 22/03/2018 – Iniciativa de Ley 5266 para reformar el Código Penal de Guatemala - GTM 3/2018
  • 10/03/2014 – Iniciativa de Ley para la Circulación por Carreteras Libres de Cualquier Tipo de Obstáculos - GTM 1/2014

Honduras

  • 07/06/2018 - iniciativa legal sobre ciberseguridad y medidas de protección ante los actos de odio y discriminación en internet y redes sociales - HND 6/2018

Hungary

  • 08/03/2018 - Draft legislative package on organizations supporting migration - OL HUN 1/2018
  • 09/05/2017 - Bill T/14967 on the Transparency of Organizations Financed from Abroad - OL HUN 2/2017
  • 12/04/2017 - The bill T/14686 amending Act VVIC of 2011 on National Higher Education, signed into law on 11 April 2017 - OL HUN 1/2017
  • 14/03/2012 - Law Freedom of the Press and the Fundamental Rules on Media Content (Act CIV of 2010) and the Media Services and Mass Media Act (Act CLXXXV of 2010)- HUN 2/2012
  • 29/02/2012 – New Constitution and related legal provisions for the independence of the judiciary- HUN 1/2012

India

  • 14/02/2019 – The Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018IND 3/2019

Indonesia

  • 31/08/2012 - Bill on Societal Organizations - IDN 11/2012

Ireland

Israel

  • 03/03/16 – Draft legislation “Transparency Law” –ISR 1/2016

Italy

  • 20/03/2018 – “red button” operational protocol for the “Fight Against the Diffusion of Fake News through the Web”, announced on 18 January 2018 - ITA 1/2018

Japan

  • 19/11/2013 - Draft Special Secrets Bill JPN 1/2013
  • 20/04/2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – JPN 2/2016

Jordan

Kazakhstan

  • 07/11/2018 – Draft law on distribution of information related to LGTBIOL KAZ 5/2018
  • 06/10/2015 and 15/10/2015- Draft law on activities of Non-Governmental OrganizationsKAZ 3/2015 and KAZ 4/2015

Kenya

  • 26/07/2017 - Guidelines for Prevention of Dissemination of Undesirable Bulk Political SMS and Social Media Content via Electronic Communications Networks - OL KEN 10/2017
  • 15/11/2013 – Bill amending two Acts: the Public Benefits Organizations Act and the National Youth Council ActKEN 8/2013
  • 18/12/2014 - Draft Security Laws BillKEN 7/2014

Kyrgyz Republic

  • 30/09/2013 – Draft law on “Non-commercial organizations fulfilling the role of foreign agents” KGZ 2/2013
  • 06/05/2014 – Draft Bill “On the formation of a positive attitude toward non-traditional forms of sexual relations” KGZ 1/2014
  • 23/09/2014 – Amendments to the laws governing non-profit organizationsKGZ 5/2014

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

  • 07/11/2014 - Decree No. 327 on Internet-Based Information Control/ManagementLAO 1/2014
  • 29/05/2015 - Draft decree on Associations and FoundationsLAO 1/2015
  • 06/05/2016 - Decree on Press Activities of Foreign Media, International Organizations and Diplomatic MissionsLAO 2/2016

Latvia

  • 15/04/2016 – Draft legislation amending criminal law provisions on national securityLVA 1/2016

Libya

  • 09/01/2013 – Law no. 65/2012 regulating peaceful protests LBY 3/2012

Malaysia

  • 28/12/2018 – Proposed and adopted legislation in the area of sedition, press freedom, defamation, “fake news”, etc. – OL MYS 6/2018
  • 01/10/2014 - Sedition Act of 1948MYS 6/2014
  • 23/12/2014 – Implementation of Sedition ActMYS 8/2014
  • 20/04/2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – MYS 5/2016
  • 3/04/2018 – “Anti-Fake News” BillMYS 1/2018
  • 5/07/2018 – Communications and Multimedia Act and the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission ActMYS 2/2018

Maldives

  • 26/05/2016 – Draft law on “Protection of Reputation and Good Name and Freedom of Expression Bill”MDV 1/2016

Mauritania

Mexico

  • 12/11/2018 – Ley de Seguridad InteriorOL MEX 16/2018
  • 18/08/2014 - Decreto N ° 159 que modifica e introduce nuevas disposiciones a la Ley Orgánica de la Procuraduría General de JusticiaMEX 15/2014
  • 20/04/2016- Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement MEX 3/2016

Montenegro

  • 02/03/2015 - Fast-tracked adoption of revised Public Assembly ActMNE 1/2015

Mozambique

Myanmar

  • 18/03/2013 - Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession MMR 1/2013
  • 19/06/2014- Draft bill on Religious Conversion MMR 4/2014

Nepal

  • 24/07/2015 - Draft ConstitutionNPL 1/2015
  • 11/07/2018 - National Integrity and Ethics Policy 2074 (Policy)NPL 1/2018

Nigeria

  • 13/06/2013 - Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill NGA 4/2014 and NGA 1/2016
  • 18/07/2014 and 10/02/2016 - Draft Act to Regulate the Acceptance and Utilization of Financial/Material Contribution of Donor Agencies to Voluntary Organizations and for Matters Connected TherewithNGO 4/2014 and NGA 1/2016

Oman

  • 26/03/2018 - Royal Decree No. 7/2018 amending the Penal CodeOMN 1/2018

Pakistan

Palestine

Paraguay

Peru

  • 30/07/2015 - Adoption of Resolutions no.085-2015 and no.097-2015 modifying directives regulating associationsPER 2/2015
  • 20/04/2016 - Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement PER 2/2016

Poland

  • 23/04/2018 – Comments on the law ‘On specific solutions related to the organization of sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Republic of Poland’ - OL POL 3/2018
  • 13/02/2018 - Act of 26 January 2018 amending inter alia, the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation - POL 2/2018

Republic of Korea

  • 7/11/2018 – Decision of the Supreme Court on conscientious objectionOL KOR 4/2018

Republic of Moldova

  • 29/07/2013 - Law n°117 completing the Contravention Code MDA 4/2013

Russian Federation

  • 1/05/2019 – Amendments to the law on “Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection” and Amendments to the “Code of Administrative Offenses on the distribution of foreign print media”OL RUS 4/2019
  • 16/06/2012 – Law introducing amendments to : the Code on Administrative Violations, and Federal Law on Assemblies, Meetings, Demonstrations, Processions and Picketing - RUS 4/2012
  • 11/07/2012 – Draft law on Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regarding the Regulation of Activities of Non-commercial Organizations Performing the Functions of Foreign Agents RUS 5/2012
  • 12/12/2012 – Draft federal law No. 44554-6 introducing amendments to the Code on Administrative Offences - RUS 8/2012
  • 13/06/2013 – Law on Introducing Amendments to Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation ( Regulating Activities of Non-commercial Organizations which Carry Functions of Foreign Agents) - RUS 3/2013
  • 18/12/2013 – Law on Introducing Amendments to Legislative Acts (in part regulating Activities of Non-Commercial Organizations which Carry Functions of Foreign Agents) - RUS 13/2013
  • 20/06/2014 – Law on Non-commercial Organizations which Carry Functions of Foreign Agents - RUS 5/2014
  • 28/07/2016 – “Yarovaya Law”RUS 7/2016
  • 5/02/2018 – Amendments to Foreign Agents Media LawRUS 2/2018

Sierra Leone

  • 22/02/2018 – New policy on NGO regulationSLE 1/2018

Singapore

South Sudan

  • 04/12/2013 – Non-Governmental Organization BillSSD 1/2013
  • 23/10/2014 – Non-Governmental Organizations Bill - SSD 1/2014
  • 29/07/2015 – Entry into-force of Non-Governmental Organizations Bill SSD 1/2015

Spain

Sudan

  • 15/08/2013 - Amendments to the Legislation on the Armed Forces - SDN 6/2013

Tajikistan

Thailand

The Netherlands

Tunisia

  • 21/11/2012 – New constitution - TUN 5/2012
  • 24/07/2015 – Draft law no.2015-22 on counter-terrorism TUN 1/2015

Uganda

  • 15/06/2012 – Public Order Management Bill - UGA 4/2012
  • 21/02/2013 – Draft on (anti) homosexuality legislation- UGA 6/2012
  • 17/12/2013 - Public Order Management Act-UGA 1/2013
  • 04/02/2014 – Revised version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill - UGA 1/2014

Ukraine

  • 09/06/2015 - Adoption of Parliament Resolution requesting derogation from certain rights protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human RightsUKR 1/2015
  • 16/11/2015 - Decree banning journalists and bloggers from reporting in the country on grounds of “threats to national security”UKR 6/2015

United Arab Emirates

  • 04/12/2012 – Federal Legal Decree No. 5/2012, amending the 2006 Cybercrime Law - ARE 8/2012
  • 07/11/2013 – Implementation of the new law on Cyber Crime - ARE 5/2013

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

United Republic of Tanzania

  • 26/10/2018 – Draft amendments to the Statistics Act - TZA 4/2018

United States of America

  • 14/02/2019 – proposed law "S.1—Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019"USA 2/2019
  • 18/05/2018 - Department of State proposal to require travellers’ social media information - USA 9/2018
  • 24/08/2017 - Federal Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - USA 20/2017
  • 9/05/2017 - Intensified screening of travellers at the US border based on their religious affiliation - USA 6/2017
  • 1/05/2017 - Intensified social media screening of travellers at the US border - USA 7/2016
  • 27/03/2017 - Draft bills on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression - USA 3/2017
  • 30/09/2016 - Proposal to request travellers’ social media information on immigration forms - USA 9/2016.
  • 20/04/2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership AgreementUSA 4/2016

Venezuela

  • 1/01/2018 - “Ley contra el Odio, por la Convivencia Pacífica y la Tolerancia” (“Ley contra el Odio”)VEN 9/2017
  • 4/06/2016 - “Decreto No. 2.323 publicado en la Gaceta Oficial No. 6.227 el 13 de Mayo de 2016” - OL VEN 7/2016
  • 20/02/2015- Ministerial Resolution 008610 regulating freedom of associationVEN 1/2015

Viet Nam

  • 01/10/2013 - Decree on the Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Information Content Online (known as “Decree 72”) - VNM 7/2013
  • 20/04/2016 – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - VNM 2/2016

All comments sent to private companies since 2011

Apple

  • 4/08/2017 - Removal of VPN applications from Apple Store in China - OTH 16/2017

Facebook

  • 1/05/2019 - Oversight Board for Content Decisions – OTH 24/2019

Twitter

  • 10/12/2018 -  Action against Twitter users for postings related to Kashmir – OTH 70/2018

All comments sent to international organizations since 2011

Committee on NGOs of the Economic and Social Council

  • 4/01/2018 - Denial of consultative status to non-governmental organization – OTH 29/2017
    ECOSOC reply: 17/01/2018
  • 5/04/2017 - Working methods to grant consultative status to non-governmental organizations - OTH 5/2017 
    ECOSOC reply: 24/4/2017

European Union

  • 7/12/2018 - Proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online – OTH 71/2018
  • 13/06/2018 – draft directive on copyright in the digital single market OTH 41/2018

United Nations Secretary-General

Amicus Curiae

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression publishes third-party interventions, amicus curiae and expert opinion before domestic, regional and international courts in cases relating to freedom of opinion and expression.

The following list provides third-party interventions sent since 2016 by the UN Special Rapporteur:

European Court of Human Rights

Date: 16 September 2019
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case: Privacy International and Others v. the United Kingdom, Application no 46259/16
Intervention as filed

Date: 3 June 2019
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case: Big Brother Watch v. the United Kingdom (Grand Chamber), Applications nos. 58170/13, 62322/14 and 24960/15
Intervention as filed

Date: 21 September 2018
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case: Emin Huseynov v. Azerbaijan, Application no. 1/16
Intervention as filed

Date: 11 January 2018
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case(s): OOO Flavus v. Russia, Application no. 12468/15 and four related Applications (nos. 20159/15, 23489/15, 19074/16 and 61919/16)
Intervention as filed

Date: 20 October 2017
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case(s): Atilla Taş v. Turkey (no. 72/17); Ahmet Hüsrev Altan v. Turkey (no. 13252/17) Mehmet Hasan Altan v. Turkey (no. 13237/17) Ahmet Şık v. Turkey (no. 36493/17); Şahin Alpay v. Turkey (no. 16538/17); Mehmet Murat Sabuncu and others v. Turkey (no. 23199/17) Murat Aksoy v. Turkey (no. 80/17); Ayşe Nazli Ilicak v. Turkey (no. 1210/17); Ali Bulaç v. Turkey (no. 25939/17); Ilker Deniz Yucel v. Turkey (no. 27684/17)
Intervention as filed

Date: 13January 2016
Court: European Court of Human Rights
Case: Azerbaijan v. Khadija Rovshan Gizi Ismayilova, App No. 30778/15
Intervention as filed

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Date: 9 August 2017
Court: Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Case(s): Case of Nelson Carvajal Carvajal vs. Colombia, case no. 12.462
Declaration as filed

Others

Date: 9 May 2017
Court: Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea
Case(s): Application No. 2016Heonma388
Third party intervention submission as filed (English)
Third party intervention submission as filed (Korean)

Date: 31October 2016
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Case(s): Kidane v. Ethiopia
Brief of UN Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the situation of human rights defenders as filed
Motion for leave to file brief amici curiae as filed

Date: 18 May 2016
Court: Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Case: Federation of African Journalists et al. v. Gambia, ECW/CCJ/APP/36/15
Affidavit as filed


Special Procedures
​Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and opinion
​Recent thematic reports
​Contact information

Ms. Irene Khan
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland

Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: freedex@ohchr.org

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