This has been an exciting week here at Columbia Global Freedom of Expression! After months of anticipation, our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization” launched yesterday! It is not too late to sign up: Enroll Here
The Spanish version of our database went live this week as well. If you have not already done so, please spread the word. It can be accessed through the following link: https://globalfreedomofexpression.columbia.edu/espanol
Below, please find the latest case additions to the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression legal database.
As always, we very much welcome your comments and feedback on the case analyses. We sometimes cannot get access to official court documents for our analyses. If you have access to such documents, please forward them to us.
October 5 - 13, 2016
People's Union for Civil Liberties v. India
Decision Date: September 27, 2013
The Indian Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a right not to vote as part of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. The case had been brought as a challenge to government rules which required a presiding officer to take a note whenever a voter decided not to vote. The Court found that the decision of a voter to not vote for any of the candidates after evaluating each of them was a facet of the right to freedom of expression. The Court also held that the fear of disclosure of one’s vote would act as a constraint on the voter’s expression and decision not to vote.
Forests Survey Inspection Request Case [Petitioner v. Supervisor of County of Ichon]
Decision Date: September 4, 1989
The Constitutional Court of South Korea explicitly recognized a constitutional right to know and held that disclosure to a person with a direct interest in the information was mandatory. The case arose out of the government’s refusal to disclose land surveys information requested by the complainant after the land he had inherited became the State’s property without his knowledge. The court held that the right to know was not absolute and must be balanced against harm that a disclosure might cause to the public interest. Here, the Court held that the information posed no threat to the public interest and that it did not violate privacy. Additionally, the Court recognised that the complainant had a direct interest in the information.
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Thank you and see you next week!
Project Manager, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
Program Officer, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression