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Report No. 200

The Madrid Principles on the Relationship Between the Media and Judicial Independence (1994)

A group of 40 distinguished Legal Experts and Media representatives, convened by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), at its Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL) and the Spanish Committee of UNICEF met in Madrid, Spain between 18-20, January 1994. The objectives of the meeting were:

(1) to examine the relationship between the media and judicial independence as guaranteed by the 1985 UN Principles on the Independence of Judiciary.

(2) To formulate principles addressing the relationship between freedom of expression and judicial independence.

The group of media representatives and jurists while stating in the 'Preamble' that the 'freedom of the media, which is an integral part of freedom of expression, is essential in a democratic society governed by the Rule of Law and that it is the responsibility of the Judges to recognize and give effect to freedom of the media by applying a basic presumption in their favour and by permitting only such restrictions on freedom of the media as are authorized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("International Covenant") and are specified in precise law, emphasized that:

"The media have an obligation to respect the rights of individuals, protected by the International Covenant and the independence of the judiciary".

It refers to the principles which are drafted as "minimum" standards of protection of the freedom of expression.

Trial by Media free speech and fair trial under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Back

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