From the IPI:
The International Press Institute (IPI) [recently] launched a new online database aimed at cataloguing legal provisions affecting freedom of the press and expression on a country-by-country basis.
The initial roll-out of the database features detailed information on defamation laws, parsed into 12 searchable categories, for countries in the European Union and the Caribbean, building on IPI’s ongoing research, advocacy and training work on the topic in both regions.
IPI Director of Press Freedom Programmes Scott Griffen said the database aimed in part to expose the failure of states, including a majority in Europe, to incorporate international standards on freedom of expression in law.
While initially focused on defamation laws in Europe and the Caribbean, IPI hopes to expand both the geographic and thematic reaches of the database in cooperation with international and local partners. Research on laws in Europe was conducted in partnership with the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University’s School of Public Policy and with the Share Foundation in Belgrade.
The database also includes resources developed by IPI and the Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) to support lawyers representing media practitioners who have been sued or charged with libel, while also helping journalists to understand their rights under international and European human rights mechanisms.
Only five EU countries – Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom – have abolished criminal defamation laws. Recent years have witnessed positive legislative changes in Finland, France, Latvia and Lithuania, among others, the latter following a joint IPI/Article 19 mission on May 2015.
Direct to Media Laws Database