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Arotania

[SUBMITTED] Individual Free Expression Guarantee

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General Assembly Proposal
ID: the_wallenburgian_world_assembly_offices_1529691997

Individual Free Expression Guarantee

A resolution to increase democratic freedoms.

Category: Furtherment of Democracy

Strength: Significant

Proposed by: the_wallenburgian_world_assembly_officesThe Wallenburgian World Assembly Offices

Acknowledging that freedom of expression functions as a cornerstone to the institution of democracy,

Recognizing the international interest in protecting such fundamental civil liberties,

The World Assembly hereby,

 

  1. Defines "person" as a living, sapient individual, and "people" as the plural of "person",

     

  2. Requires member states to recognize and defend the right of all individuals to express their political and ideological opinions and their personal and moral beliefs, to communicate information, and to refuse do so,

     

  3. Further requires that all forums open to the public, and funded in part or in whole by member states, recognize and defend these rights,

     

  4. Forbids member states from restricting individuals' free expression of their opinions, views, or beliefs based on the medium through which they are expressed,

     

  5. Permits member states to regulate expression and communication for the purposes of:

     

    1. Preserving the physical health and safety of the public,

       

    2. Preventing undue harm to the civilian population or ongoing military operations,

       

    3. Addressing intimidating, malicious, and hateful commentary,

       

    4. Safeguarding legal processes and privacy agreements,

       

    5. Addressing plagiarism or defamation,

       

    6. Protecting physical or intellectual property,

       

    7. Establishing age-based restrictions on the consumption of media, or

       

    8. Complying with the requirements of previously passed and extant resolutions,

     

     

  6. Declares that no mandate of this resolution may be interpreted to prohibit the regulation of advertisements.

This is the first in line for the replacement proposals for 'Freedom of Expression' that was just repealed.

While this is not yet in queue, this is a serious first proposal for what could be multiple resolutions that would replace the old ones.

Current motion seems to be in the direction that the old resolution is split into smaller parts to make the whole thing more robust. This proposal therefore limits itself to individual speech. Group expressions (say for example ACLU) are left for other proposals to pursue. The same goes for juristic persons.

Now this proposal at hand lays the ground for freedom of expression and against compelled speech (2). 3 establishes general anti-censorship regulations, naturally excempting non-public state communications (think classified information of intelligence services). 4 prohibits censorship based on mediums, i.e. not in newspapers, the internet or something different.

Points 2-4 are absolutely well done and couldn't really be improved.

Since no freedom of expression can be completely without exceptions (the classical yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre comes to mind), 5 provides permissable exceptions. I am currently a bit too much intoxicated to go into detail there, perhaps we can have a discussion on this list.

6 addresses the main point of the repeal (don't want tobacco sales men advertise to children). 1 is a bit bizarre, as the defined words aren't used.

Depending on how this goes and what other proposal come out of the repeal, it might be sensible to establish, what the region thinks is acceptible in regard to this topic. I (or anyone else interested) might push the impending proposals in certain directions.

So any thoughts and comments are very welcome.

discussion thread

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50 minutes ago, Arotania said:

Requires member states to recognize and defend the right of all individuals to express their political and ideological opinions and their personal and moral beliefs, to communicate information, and to refuse do so,

Way too broad of a right.

 

53 minutes ago, Arotania said:

Permits member states to regulate expression and communication for the purposes of:

3. Addressing intimidating, malicious, and hateful commentary,

Who decides what is intimidating, malicious, and hateful commentary? The state? If so then what is to stop them from labeling criticism of the government as hateful commentary?

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I think section 5(2) is also too vague, and could possibly be exploited to justify censorship of anti-war sentiment. It is understandable to exclude classified military secrets from free speech protection, but that section is much more broad than that.    

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OK, I have sobered sufficiently and on a (short :P) break from football.

This proposal in the meantime had reached quorum but then Sciongrad launched a countercampaign and it lost a couple of delegate votes. Currently it needs seven more approval with seven hours to spare. In any case the current proposal still has more than a day left on the clock for voting. So no surprise votes possible.

 

Now first of all, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

On 23.6.2018 at 11:45 PM, Davelands said:

Way too broad of a right.

The 'communicate information' part indeed is pretty fuzzy.

On 23.6.2018 at 11:45 PM, Davelands said:

Who decides what is intimidating, malicious, and hateful commentary? The state? If so then what is to stop them from labeling criticism of the government as hateful commentary?

This seems to be one of the more contentious points from what I gather from the onsite forum.

From my purely personal view I like to tie this to power relations, i.e. there should be very few, if any at all, limitations on how you can criticize anyone in a position of power, especially if it is directly over you. This naturally includes governments. This proposal omits all nuances and leaves itself very open to 'creative' interpretations, though.

On 24.6.2018 at 12:15 AM, LiberNovusAmericae said:

I think section 5(2) is also too vague, and could possibly be exploited to justify censorship of anti-war sentiment. It is understandable to exclude classified military secrets from free speech protection, but that section is much more broad than that.    

Yes, that section is at least a bit too vague.

All in all the devil is, as so often, in the details. This proposal seems to have fallen into the trap of hastily adding exceptions to appease certain commenters. No red line or explanation why exactly these exceptions were chosen and formulated in this way. This ultimately also led to the old resolution's repeal.

While a good chunk of the basics seem to be a good foundation, I really got the expression that this was submitted too early and hastily and that it could use a lot of work on its minutiae. Assuring to know that I am not alone in the region with this impression.

If this reaches vote there will not be support from all sides. Even a repeal attempt has been anounced for the case this passes. This needs more work (and lose the useless definitions), all PSAs I am going to put out will reflect this. Let's see how this proceeds.

 

If anyone else wants to add to the topic, feel free to respond, I will leave this thread open, even if this fails to reach quorum. This topic is far from being exhaustively dealt with.

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Much of Section 5 is very vaguely-worded, and feels too easy to maliciously misinterpret and could very well become a legal loophole more ethically-questionable nations might take advantage of to shield their actions.

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